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Southwest  Virginia, 

1 746- 1 786, 

Washington  County, 




OF    THE 


Alumnus  of  the  University  of  Virginia,  and  of  Tulane  University, 

Louisiana,  and  Member  of  the  Virginia 

Historical  Society. 

Richmond,  va.  : 

J.  L.  Hill  Printing  Company, 






Two  Copies  Keceived 

OCT    21  !903 

CopyrighJ    Entry 

'LAS^J     A.     XXo.  No, 

^    M-  1.  0    I 

COPY   A.     ' 



This  Book  is  dedicated  to  the  memory 
of  the  first  settlers  of  Southwest  Virginia, 
whose  enterprise  conquered  her  domain 
and  whose  love  of  freedom  and  valor  in 
defending  their  rights  have  given  to,  their 
posterity  the  blessings  of  civil  and  relig- 
ious liberty. 


On  pau;cs  18  ivnd  .'It)  the  inotto  on  the  Golden  Horseshoe  presented  hy  (Jovernor 
Spotswood  to  his  comrades  in  the  expedition  across  the  Blue  Ridge  Mountains  is 
fiiven  as,  "Sic  jurat  transcendere  montes."  (Tlius  he  swears  to  cross  the  inonntains.) 
r  am  aware  that  some  autliorities  state  the  motto  was,  "Sic.juvat  transcendere 
niontes."     (Thus  it  deli^lits  (us)  to  cross  the  mountains.) 

On  page  18,  last  line,  instead  of  "countries"  read  "two  counties." 

On  page  31,  line  14,  read  "other"  between  words  "the"  and  "Indians." 

On  page  o3,  line  5,  instead  of  "  settling"  read  "setting." 

On  page  57,  line  11,  instead  of  "  Inglish  "  read  "  Inglis." 

On  page  73,  line  17,  instead  of  ".Tudds'  friend"  read  .Judds  Friend." 

On  page  70,  line  2,  the  word  "  Fountainbleau  "  should  lie  "  Fountainehleau." 

On  page  93,  lines  25  and  2i),  instead  of  "  Cloud's  Fort  "  read  "  Cloud's  Ford." 

On  page  114,  line  3,  instead  of  "  Walden  "  read  "  Wallen." 

On  page  14:5,  line  4,  instead  of  "  Glass  "  read  "  Gass." 

(Jn  page  146,  line  7,  instead  of  "Bower"  read  "Bowyer." 

(^n  page  148,  line  18,  instead  of  "  Isaach  "  read  "  Isaac." 

On  page  1()4,  line  2,  a  period  should  appear  after  "Burgesses,"  CoHowcd  l)y  a  new 

On  page  184,  line  7,  instead  of  "county  "  read  "country." 

On  page  195,  line  22,  instead  of  "  marehandise"  read  "  merchandise." 

On  page  257,  line  li,  instead  of  "Washington  Districts"  read  "Washington  Dis- 

On  page  291,  instead  of  "  1,098.9"  read  "1.098." 

On  page  292,  line  26,  instead  of  "  rank  "  read  "  ranks." 

( )n  page  360,  line  2,  instead  of  "  was  "  read  "  were." 

On  page 361,  line  11,  instead  of  "citizens"  read  "citizen." 

On  page  364,  line  5,  instead  of  "commissioners"  read  "commissioner." 

On  page  367,  line  4,  instead  of  "Tranalleghany  "  read  "Transalleghany." 

On  page  369,  line  6,  instead  of  "  Walliam"  read  "William." 

On  page  370,  line  6,  instead  of  "bans"  read  "  banns." 

On  page  435,  line  11,  instead  of  "agents"  read  "agent.'' 

On  page  448,  line  14,  instead  of  "A.  S.  A."  read  "  U.  S.  A." 

On  page  461,  line  20,  Instead  of  "effecting"  read  "affecting." 

On  page  463,  line  15,  instead  of  "effected  "  read  "affected." 

On  page  488,  line  U,  instead  of  "Moline  del  Rey  "  read  "Molino  del  Rcy." 

On  page  .502,  line  1,  instead  of  "receive"  read  "receives." 

On  page  521,  line  23,  instead  of  "ordinance"  read  "ordnance." 

On  page  522,  line  1,  instead  of  "  Cecill  "  read  "  Cecil." 

On  page  571,  line  9,  instead  of  "Dupree"  read  "Dupre." 

On  page  590,  line  12,  instead  of  "Hindley  Harris"  read  "Findley  Harris." 


The  writer  is  a  native  born  son  of  Southwest  Virginia,  and  has 
always  felt  a  great  pride  in  his  country,  and  since  reaching  ma- 
tui-ity  has  been  interested  in  the  history  of  this  section. 

Jn  the  schools  bnt  little  has  been  tanght  in  regard  to  the  his- 
tory of  this  portion  of  Virginia,  as  but  a  small  part  of  its  history 
has  been  preserved.  Our  historians  have  been  citizens  of  Eastern 
\'n-giiiia  or  of  other  States;  and  while  onr  people  have  been  mak- 
ing history  from  the  earliest  settlement,  scarcely  any  effort  has 
been  made  to  preserve  it,  and  as  a  result  other  parts  of  our  country 
whose  history  has  been  preserved  have  in  many  instances  received 
credit  that  properly  belongs  to  the  people  of  this  section  of  Vir- 
ginia, and  being  impressed  with  this  fact,  and  prompted  by  a  de- 
sire to  preserve  the  past  history  of  our  people,  he  determined,  a 
few  years  since,  to  collect  the  history  of  Southwest  Virginia,  in 
so  far  as  it  was  possible,  and  to  rescue  the  same  from  oblivion,  and 
in  doing  this  work  he  has  given  such  time  only  as  he  could  spare 
from  his  professional  duties. 

If  an  apology  is  .needed  for  his  effort  in  thus  attempting  to  pre- 
serve this  history  it  will  bo  found  in  the  remark  oi  Lord  Macaulay, 
wherein  he  justly  observed :  "A  people  which  takes  no  pride  in  the 
noble  achievements  of  remote  ancestors  will  never  achieve  anything 
worthy  to  be  remembered  with  pride  by  remote  descendants." 

There  can  be  no  question  that  this  section  of  Virginia  has  been 
robbed  of  much  of  the  honor  due  her  for  the  early  settlement  of 
the  vast  extent  of  country  to  the  west  and  south  thereof,  and 
that  the  noble  deeds  of  her  sons  have  been  ascribed  to  others ;  and 
a  knowledge  of  this  fact  has  rendered  necessary  the  preservation  of 
the  deeds  of  the  worthy  citizens  that  this  section  has  produced, 
not  only  to  gratify  the  pride  of  our  citizens,  but  to  remind  them 
of  the  obligations  they  are  under,  and  to  supply  them  with  exam- 
ples of  patriotism  which  they  may  seek  to  emulate. 

The  writer  feels  his  inability  to  properly  perform  this  task,  but 
hopes  that  the  gleanings  he  has  gathered  may  suffice  in  some  more 
skillful  hands  to  weave  for  the  founders  and  builders  of  our  country 

8  Jntroduciory. 

an  enduring  garland  of  glorv,  and  lie  asks  a  kind  iiidnlgoncc  of  the 
reader  for  sucli  errors^  omissions,  and  imperfections  as  ma}'  be 
found  in  this  work. 

In  the  words  of  Judge  Haywood:  "Let  no  one  censure  his  mo- 
tives, for  they  are  pure.  Thcire  will  indeed  be  much  room  to  blame 
the  defective  perfar-mancc  of  the  author,  but  this  he  will  hear 
with  the  greatest  pleasure  if  the  person  dissatisfied  will,  for  the 
benefit  of  his  eountr\'',  either  produce  a  more  perfect  work  or  con- 
tribute to  tlio  merits  of  this." 

Ill  the  pre])aration  of  this  woi'k  he  has  obtained  information 
from  various  pei-sons  and  ])laees,  hut  in  nearly  every  instance  has 
]-e(|uireil  documentary  evidence  for  all  statements  made,  and  has. 
given  I'eferences  where  the  statement  is  liable  to  be  (piestioned, 
and  in  quoting  original  pa])ers  has  clone  so  without  changing  the 
same  in  any  particular. 

In  the  course  of  the  preparation  of  this  work  he  has  received  as- 
sistance from  a  number  of  persons,  for  which  he  feels  deeply 
grateful.  He  desires  to  mention  in  this  connection  the  following 
persons:  Miss  Lucy  Land  rum,  his  stenographer,  who  has  faithfidly 
labored  in  preparing  his  manuscript  for  the  printer;  W.  G.  Stan- 
ard,  secretary  of  the  Virginia  Historical  Society;  the  secretary  of 
the  New  York  Historical  So{;iety,  Hon.  J.  L.  Bristow;  Fourth  As- 
sistant Postmaster-General,  C.  A.  Dmmington ;  Congressional  Li- 
brary, AVashington,  D.  C. ;  Thomas  E.  N-imnK>,  State  Library,  llich- 
mon,  Va. ;  Mrs.  IVlargarct  C.  Pilcher,  Nashville,  Tenn. ;  Prof. 
T.  I).  Davidson  and  maiiy  others.  L.  P.  Summers, 

June  13,  1903.  Abingdon,  Va.. 

History  of  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786, 
Washington  County,  1777-1870. 


1001-1716.  The  history  of  Virginia,  from  the  earliest  times 
until  the  date  of  the  formation  of  Washington  county  by  the 
General  Assembly  of  Virginia,  is  interesting  and  instructive,  and 
is  necessary  to  a  thorough  comprehension  of  thai  part  of  our  history 
subsequent  thereto. 

In  the  year  1001,  the  American  Continent  was  discovered  by  Leif 
Erickson,  a  ISTorthman,  who  sailed  west  from  Greenland,  and  landed 
on  the  coast  of  America  in  411/4  north  latitude.  He  named  the 
land  of  his  discovery  Vineland.  This  discovery  was  made  in  the 
spring  of  the  year,  and  the  luxuriant  growth  of  vegetation  that 
adorned  the  land  suggested  the  name^ — Vineland. 

This  continent  was  visited  by  the  ISTorthmen  at  intervals  from 
the  time  of  the  discovery  of  Erickson  until  as  late  as  1347.  The 
visits  of  the  Northmen  to  America  have  often  been  questioned,  and 
were  generally  doubted,  until  discoveries  made  in  recent  times. 

An  examination  of  the  records  and  documents  to  be  found  in  the 
archives  of  the  Antiquarian  Society  of  Copenhagen  put  to  rest 
this  question. 

So  eminent  an  authority  as  Humboldt,  after  an  examination  of 
the  record,  says :  "The  discovery  of  the  northern  part  of  America 
by  the  Northmen  cannot  be  disputed." 

No  practical  benefit  resulted  from  the  adventures  of  the  North- 
men, and  in  view  of  the  fact  that  those  people  ceased  to  visit  the 
newly  discovered  country  after  1347,  and  actually  forgot  the  ex- 
plorations of  their  people,  they  are  to  be  given  but  little  credit  for 
their  early  discoveries. 

Erom  the  time  of  the  last  visit  of  the  Northmen,  in  1347,  until 
the  year  1492,  the  continent  of  America  was  unknown  to  the  inhabi- 

10  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

tants  of  the  rest  of  the  world ;  they  had  never  before  heard  of  such 
a  land;  the  curtain  of  oblivion  shut  out  from  the  vision  of  man- 
kind the  garden  spot  of  God^s  creation. 

1492.  In  the  year  1492,  Christopher  Columbus,  a  native  of 
Grenoa,  Italy,  bearing  the  flag  of  Spain,  after  surmounting  innumer- 
able difficulties,  sailed  west  in  search  of  a  new  land  and  discovered 
what  afterwards  proved  to  be  San  Salvador,  one  of  the  Bahama 
Islands.  He  took  possession  of  the  newly  discovered  land  in  the 
name  of  the  King  and  Queen  of  Spain. 

Columbus  did  not  visit  the  mainland  of  the  American  Continent 
until  many  years  thereafter.  Nothing  could  be  more  pleasant  than 
to  study  the  life  and  daring  adventures  of  Columbus  and  other 
Spanish,  Portuguese,  and  French  explorers,  but  their  efforts  are  in 
no  way  associated  with  the  history  of  the  country  that  we  purpose 
to  deal  with  in  this  book ;  this  pleasure,  therefore,  must  be  deferred 
to  another  time. 

Columbus !  His  name  should  be  ever  revered,  and  his  fame  is 
as  imperishable  as  the  continent  that  he  gave  by  discovery  to  the 

1497.  John  Cabot,  in  the  year  1497,  sailing  the  flag  of  England, 
commissioned  so  to  do  by  Henry  VII,  discovered  Newfoundland 
and  Labrador,  and  declared  that  he  had  found  a  new  world. 

1498.  The  following  year  John  and  Sebastian  Cabot,  under  a 
new  commission  from  the  King  of  England,  fitted  out  an  expedi- 
tion under  the  charge  of  Sebastian  Cabot,  and,  sailing  in  a  north- 
wardly course,  sought  a  rente  to  the  East  India  Islands,  but  the 
inclemency  of  the  weather  and  the  insurpassable  barrier  of  ice 
forced  the  abandonment  of  the  original  purpose  of  the  expedition. 
The  course  of  the  voyage  was  consequently  changed,  and,  as  a  result, 
Virginia  was  discovered  in  the  year  1498. 

John  and  Sebastian  Cabot  were  the  first  to  discover  the  Eastern 
coast  of  America,  and  England  laid  claim  to  all  the  vast  territory 
between  the  34th  and  68th  parallels  of  north  latitude  from  the 
Atlantic  to  the  Pacific  oceans,  basing  her  claim  on  this  discovery. 

1539.  De  Soto,  by  a  commission  from  the  King  of  Spain,  in 
the  years  1539  and  1540,  extended  his  discoveries  from  the  north 
of  Florida  inland  to  the  head  waters  of  the  present  Holston  and 
Clinch  rivers  and  thence  to  the  Mississippi  river. 

1584.     Eighty-five  years  intervened  -between  the  time   of  the 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  11 

discoveries  of  John  and  Sebastian  Cabot  and  the  first  permanent  set- 
tlement made  in  all  the  vast  territory  claimed  by  England  by  reason 
of  their  discoveries,  and  the  honor  attending  this  event  justly  be- 
longs to  Sir  Walter  Ealeigh,  a  young  nobleman,  a  participant  in 
the  French  Protestant  wars,  who  in  1493  applied  to  Queen  Eliza- 
beth for  assistance  in  fitting  out  an  expedition  for  the  purpose  of 
planting  a  Colony  in  America.  In  answer  to  his  application  the 
Queen  gave  him  a  commission  creating  him  Lord  of  all  that  por- 
tion of  the  American  continent  claimed  by  England. 

The  first  expedition  sent  out  by  Ealeigh  was  composed  of  two 
ships,  and  their  object  was  to  make  discoveries.  This  expedition 
sailed  in  April,  1584,  and',  on  the  13th  day  of  July  of  the  same 
year,  entered  Ocracoke  inlet  within  the  present  limits  of  North 
Carolina.  Here  they  remained  until  September,  1584,  at  which 
time  they  sailed  for  England,  and  upon  their  arrival  Elizabeth  gave 
the  country  the  name  of  Virginia.  Immediately  upon  their  return 
seven  ships  carrying  one  hundred  and  eighty  men  set  sail  for  the 
New  World  and  landed  at  Eoanoke  Island  in  the  year  1585. 

This  company,  charmed  with  the  prospects,  decided  to  settle  on 
the  island.  Many  of  the  company,  not  being  accustomed  to  labor 
and  not  being  inclined  to  work,  were  greatly  disappointed  in  their 
hopes,  became  disheartened  and,  at  the  first  opportunity,  returned 
to  England. 

Sir  Eichard  Grenville  left  fifteen  men  on  the  island  to  guard  the 
rights  of  England., 

Sir  Ealph  Lane,  one  of  the  returning  colonists,  introduced  the 
use  of  tobacco  into  England,  he  and  the  other  colonists  having 
learned  from  the  Indians  to  smoke  it. 

1587.  In  1587  Ealeigh  sent  out  another  expedition  to  settle 
Eoanoke  Island.  This  expedition  was  composed  of  women  and 
children  as  well  as  men. 

Upon  reaching  their  destination  in  safety  they  found  the  tene- 
ments and  fort  in  ruins  and  the  beasts  of  the  forest  feeding  on 
the  vegetation  where  the  former  settlements  had  been  located. 
They  found,  also,  scattered  about  the  former  settlement,  the  bones 
of  the  fifteen  men  left  by  Sir  Eichard  Grenville. 

This  Colony  was  in  charge  of  John  White.  Soon  after  the  land- 
ing, on  August  18th,  1587,  a  child  was  bom  to  Annias  and  Vir- 
ginia Dare,  to  whom  was  given  the  name  of  '"Virginia  Dare."    This. 

13  Southwest  Virginia,  nJlt.6-1786. 

was  the  first  white  child  born  of  Englisli  parents  in  America.  Soon 
after  the  birth  of  Virginia  Dare,  John  White  returned  to  England 
for  supplies  for  the  Colony,  leaving  behind  him  eighty-nine  men, 
seventeen  women  and  eleven  children.  He  was  delayed  on  his 
return  voyage  and  when  he  arrived  at  Eoanoke  Island  after  an 
absence  of  three  years  no  trace  of  the  Colony  could  be  found  except 
the  word  Croatan  carved  on  a  tree. 

It  is  said,  but  not  verified,  that  some  of  this  Colony  found  shelter 
among  the  Indians  on  the  coast  of  North  Carolina. 

This  story  of  the  first  settlement  in  this  part  of  America  remains 
one  of  the  saddest  tragedies  in  our  history. 

1606.  One  hundred  and  fourteen  years  had  passed  since  the 
discovery  of  America  by  Columbus,  when  King  James  the  First 
of  England  granted  to  a  company*  of  wealthy  merchants  a  patent 
of  that  part  of  America  lying  between  the  34th  and  45th  degrees 
north  latitude  and  all  islands  within  one  hundred  miles  of  the 
coast.  This  grant  was  divided  between  the  London  and  Plymouth 

The  London  Company  sent  out  an  expedition  composed  of  one 
hundred  and  five  colonists  under  the  command  of  Captain  Christo- 
pher Newport,  an  experienced  seaman.  Although  this  expedition 
sailed  in  1606,  it  did  not  reach  the  mouth  of  Chesapeake  bay  until 
May  15,  1607. 

f  James  river  and  Capes  Henry  and  Charles  were  discovered 
and  named  for  the  king  of  England  and  his  sons.  The  colonists 
continued  the  voyage  up  the  James  river  about  fifty  miles,  when 
they  landed  and  began  the  erection  of  houses  and  the  making  of 
all  necessary  arrangements  for  a  permanent  settlement.  Thus  was 
founded  Jamestown,  and  thus  occurred,  according  to  a  noted  histo- 
rian, "The  most  important  event  in  profane  history,"  and  thus 
the  foundation  stones  of  the  greatest  commonwealth  and  republic 
the  world  has  ever  known  were  laid  by  m^en  whose  posterity  were 
destined  to  kindle  a  spirit  of  political  and  religious  liberty  such  as 
can  be  extinguished  only  with  the  Anglo-Saxon  race. 

This  settlement  at  Jamestown  may  be  regarded  as  the  starting 
point  of  all  Virginia  histories. 

The  first  Colony  in  Virginia  began  under  circumstances  having 

*Stith— Henning's  Statutes  at  Large,  page  60. 
I  Indian  name  "Powhatan  River." 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  13 

a  tendency  to  discourage  the  thoughtful,  and  reasonably  so,  because 
of  the  fact  that  of  the  one  hundred  and  five  colonists  only  twelve 
were  laborers,  the  remaining  ninety-seven  being  tliriftless  and  dis- 

All  power  was  vested  in  a  body  of  councillors  composed  of 
Bartholomew  Gosnold,  John  Smith,  Edward  Winfield,  Christopher 
Newport,  Jolin  Eatcliffe,  John  Martin  and  George  Kendall. 
Edward  Winfield  was  chosen  the  first  Grovemor  of  the  Colony  of 
Virginia,  and  thus  began  civil  government  in  America. 

Shortly  after  the  settlement  Captains  Newport  and  Smith  de- 
cided to  explore  the  country,  traveled  up  the  James  river  as  far  as 
the  falls  and  visited  Powhatan,  the  king  of  the  Indians,  whose 
capital  was  near  the  present  site  of  the  city  of  Eichmond. 

After  a  short  stay  at  the  Indian  village,  Newport  and  Smith 
returned  to  Jamestown.  Newport  soon  left  for  England,  and 
immediately  thereafter  trouble  arose  among  the  colonists.  Win- 
field was  succeeded  by  Eatcliffe,  and  Eatcliffe  by  Captain  Smith, 
who,  by  his  excellent  management  of  the  Colony,  won  the  title  of  the 
"Father  of  Virginia." 

Late  in  the  autumn  Captain  Newport  returned  from  England, 
bringing  about  seventy  new  colonists,  two  of  the  number  being 
women  (Mrs.  Forrest  and  Annie  Bergess),  and  a  considerable 
quantity  of  supplies. 

Among  the  new  colonists  were  several  gold  refiners,  who,  dis- 
covering earth  near  Jamestown  having  a  resemblance  to  gold,  pro- 
nounced the  same  gold  of  the  best  quality,  and,  thereupon,  the 
entire  Colony  forsook  all  commendable  enterprises  and  wasted  their 
time  and  energies  in  loading  one  of  Newport's  vessels  with  this 
earth,  which  proved,  upon  its  arrival  in  England,  to  be  worthless. 

Another  ship  returning  to  England  would  have  been  loaded  with 
a  similar  cargo,  but  Captain  Smith  objected,  and  it  was  loaded 
with  cedar  wood.  This  was  the  first  valuable  cargo  exported  from 
this  part  of  America  to  England. 

The  Colony,  having  thus  wasted  their  energies  and  consumed 
their  supplies,  would,  no  doubt,  have  perished  during  the  winter 
that  followed,  had  not  Captain  John  Smith  exercised  the  energies 
of  his  resourceful  mind  in  feeding  and  protecting  them.  The 
best  friend  Captain  Smith  found  in  this  New  World  was  Poca- 
hontas, the  daughter  of  Powhatan,  the  chief  of  the  Indians.     The 

14  Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786. 

colonists  charged  that  Smith  intended  to  marry  Pocahontas  and 
make  himself  king  of  Virginia. 

1608.  In  the  year  1G08  Captain  Smith,  in  a  small  open  barge, 
explored  the  Chesapeake  bay  and  its  tributaries. 

1609.  In  the  month  of  May,  1609,  a  new  and  very  beneficial 
charter  was  granted  the  London  Company,  and  the  Colony  began 
to  prosper. 

The  new  charter  conferred  on  the  company  the  powers  of  the 
king,  the  local  authority  of  the  Governor  was  greatly  increased  and 
Lord  Delaware  was  made  Governor  for  life. 

Captain  Smith,  in  this  year,  divided  the  Colony  and  sent  a  part 
thereof  to  mai:e  a  settlement  at  the  falls  of  the  James  river,  near 
Eichmond,  and  another  part  thereof  to  Nansemond.  In  this  year 
Captain  Smith  was  forced  to  return  to  England  in  consequence  of 
serious  injuries  received  from  the  explosion  of  his  powder  flask.  At 
the  time  of  his  departure  the  Colony  numbered  four  hundred  and 
fifty  persons,  all  abundantly  supplied. 

Thus  terminated  the  career  in  America  of  the  man  who  faithfully 
earned  the  title  of  the  "Father  of  Virginia." 

The  Colony  thereafter,  for  a  time,  was  without  a  competent  ruler, 
and  such  was  the  profligacy  and  viciousness  of  the  ruler  they  had, 
and  the  people,  that  in  a  short  time  the  condition  of  the  Colony  was 
changed  from  prosperity  to  abject  want,  and  by  the  spring  of  1610 
there  remained  but  sixty  persons  in  the  Colony,  and  these  were  on 
the  verge  of  starvation. 

At  this  time  Gates  and  Somers  arrived  from  the  West  Indies,  and 
all  the  Colony,  crowding  aboard  their  ships,  had  actually  sailed  for 
Newfoundland,  but  they  were  not  out  of  the  James  river  when 
they  were  met  by  Lord  Delaware,  with  three  ships,  many  new  set- 
tlers and  a  large  quantity  of  provisions,  in  fact  everything  requisite 
to  relieve  the  situation.  Lord  Delaware  prevailed  upon  the  colo- 
nists to  return  to  Jamestown,  where  under  his  splendid  manage- 
ment the  Colony  prospered  again. 

Unfortunately,  in  the  year  1611  Lord  Delaware  was  forced  by  bad 
health  to  return  to  England,  and  the  government  was  placed  in  the 
hands  of  Sir  George  Percy,  a  man  wanting  in  authority.  In  a 
short  time  the  Colony  was  again  reduced  to  abject  want.  Percy 
was  succeeded  by  Sir  Thomas  Dale,  a  man  of  practical  ideas,  and 
again  the  Colony  prospered.     He  was  a  soldier  by  profession,  and 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  15 

his  authority,  exercised  rightly,  met  the  demands  of  the  hour. 
During  his  administration  the  Colony  was  augmented  by  the  arrival 
of  three  hundred  emigrants  from  England, 

From  the  founding  of  the  Colony  at  Jamestown  in  1607  until  the 
latter  part  of  the  administration  of  Sir  Thomas  Dale  all  property 
had  been  held  in  common,  but  he  directed  a  division  of  property 
among  the  colonists,  and  from  this  time  we  may  certainly  trace 
an  improvement  in  the  conditions  of  the  people. 

Every  man  thereafter  was  dependent  upon  his  individual  exer- 
tions for  his  livelihood.  Laziness  was  punished  by  flogging  and 
irons.  Mutineers  and  deserters  were  punished  with  death.  The 
lands  of  the  colonists  were  divided  and  allotted  to  the  members 
of  the  Colony,  and  then,  for  the  first  time,  the  right  of  property  in 
lands  was  recognized  in  America.  Several  new  settlements  were 
made  during  this  time  on  both  sides  of  the  James  river. 

The  administration  of  the  affairs  of  the  Colony  was  entrusted  suc- 
cessively to  Sir  Thomas  Gates,  George  Yeardly  and  Captain 
Argall,  and  to  George  Yeardly  again  in  1619. 

The  administration  of  George  Yeardly  marks  an  epoch  in  the 
history  of  mankind. 

Beyond  question  his  inspiration  was  human  liberty  and  repre- 
sentative govenment.  He  believed  the  colonists  should  have  a 
hand  in  the  government  of  themselves.  He  called  a  legislative 
assembly  to  meet  at  Jamestown  on  July  30th,  1619,  to  be  composed 
of  two  representatives  from  each  of  the  eleven  boroughs  into 
which  the  Colony  was  divided,  and  this  assembly  was  called  the 
House  of  Burgesses. 

Thus  was  planted  the  germ  from  which  sprang  representative 
government  in  x\merica,  and  thus  to  Virginia  may  be  credited  the 
honor  of  being  the  first  State  in  the  world*  ''composed  of  separate 
boroughs  diffused  over  an  extensive  surface  in  which  the  govern- 
ment was  organized  on  the  principle  of  universal  suffrage." 

All  freemen,  without  exception,  were  entitled  to  vote. 

In  the  following  year,  1620,  a  Dutch  ship  landed  at  Jamestown 
and  sold  to  the  planters  about  twenty  Africans  to  be  held  as  slaves, 
and  thus  began  slavery  in  America. 

On  the  24th  day  of  July,  1621,  the  London  Company  gave  to 
the  Virginia  colonists  a  written  Constitution,  granting  all  the  rights 


16  Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786. 

and  liberties  theretofore  granted  l)y  George  Yeardly,  and,  about  the 
same  time,  a  shipload  of  English  maidens,  about  one  hundred  in 
all,  arrived  at  Jamestown.  There  was  great  rejoicing,  and  general 
prosperity  prevailed;  the  colonists  were  no  longer  numbered  by 
hundreds,  but  by  thousands. 

1622.  Sir  Francis  Wyatt  became  Governor  in  the  year  1G23, 
and  this  year  witnessed,  on  March  22d,  the  massacre  of  three  hun- 
dred and  forty-seven  men,  women  and  children  by  the  Indians,  but 
the  Colony  continued  to  grow  and  prosper. 

The  London  Company  was  dissolved  by  the  King  in  the  year  1625, 
and  from  this  time  the  crowTi  of  England  dictated  the  policy  of  the 

Events  passed  rapidly  in  Virginia  for  the  next  twenty  years.  One 
governor  after  another  came  and  Avcnt,  but  none  of  them  was  of 
sufficient  importance  to  be  mentioned. 

1634. /.y-In  the  year  1634^the  territory  of  Virginia  was  divided 
into  eight  shires  or  counties  similar  to  those  in  England.  For  each 
shire  lieutenants  were  appointed  to  look  after  the  military  affairs, 
and  sheriffs  and  justices  of  the  peace  were  commissioned  to  hold 
courts  in  each  of  the  counties,  or  shires.  Thus  was  constituted  and 
thus  began  the  county  court  system  that  continued  with  but  little 
change  until  1870. 

1646.  The  Virginia  Colony  in  the  struggle  between  Charles  T 
of  England  and  his  Parliament  S3'mpathized  with  the  King  and 
did  not  hesitate,  upon  the  death  of  Charles  I,  to  recognize  his  son, 
Charles  II,  as  king. 

-  Cromwell  sent  a  force  to  subdue  the  Colony  in  1650,  but  the 
attempt  was  futile  and  the  Virginians  submitted  only  upon  condi- 
tion that  they  be  permitted  to  retain  their  government  and  the 
rights  and  privileges  previously  bestowed  by  the  kings  of  England ; 
which  was  readily  agreed  to.  Eichard  Bennett  was  elected  Gover- 
nor, but  was  shortly  thereafter  succeeded  by  Edward  Diggs.  The 
next  Governor  of  Virginia  was  Samuel  Mathews,  a  Virginia  planter 
of  forty  years'  standing. 

1660.  Upon  the  restoration  of  Charles  II  in  1660,  Sir  William 
Berkley  again  became  the  Governor  of  Virginia. 

1666.  The  next  event  of  importance  in  the  history  of  Virginia 
arose  in  the  Colony  from  the  dissatisfaction  aroused  by  the  acts  of 
the  British  Parliament  and  the  conduct  of  Sir  William  Berkley.    A 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  17 

large  portion  of  the  people  of  Virginia,  under  the  leadership  of 
JSTathaniel  Bacon,  rebelled,  and  drove  Sir  William  Berkley  from 
Jamestown  and  forced  the  commissioning  of  Bacon  as  a  general. 
These  troubles  ceased  with  the  death  of  Bacon.  This  is  known  as 
Bacon's  rebellion,  and  it  partook  of  the  spirit  that  prompted  Patrick 
Henry  and  the  people  of  Virginia,  a  hundred  years  later,  to  aspire 
to  liberty  and  independence. 

For  a  period  of  nearly  fifty  years  but  little  of  interest  occurred  in 
the  history  of  Virginia  save  the  succession  of  governors. 

1698.  The  seat  of  government  was  removed  from  Jamestown  to 
Williamsburg  in  1698.  The  reason  assigned  for  the  removal  was 
that  Williamsburg  was  healthier,  and  the  situation  more  convenient. 

1710.  Alexander  Spotswood  became  the  Governor  of  Virginia 
in  1710,  and  with  prudence  governed  the  Colony  for  twelve  years. 
He  faithfully  guarded  the  interests  of  the  people  of  Virginia  and, 
during  his  administration,  inaugurated  many  new  enterprises  for 
their  good.. 

He  was  the  first  Postmaster-General  for  the  Colonies  and  estab- 
lished many  postofiices.  Under  his  administration  the  mails  were 
regularly  carried  from  Williamsburg  to  Philadelphia.  The  one 
undertaking  of  this  accomplished  gentleman  and  officer  that  is  espe- 
cially interesting  to  the  people  of  Western  Virginia  is  the  expedition 
undertaken  by  him,  when,  on  the  1st  day  of  August,  1716,  he  set  out 
from  Chelsea  upon  the  famous  expedition  to  the  Blue  Eidge 

The  Virginia  Colony  of  one  hundred  and  five  souls  in  1607  had 
grown  to  nearly  one  hundred  thousand.  Twenty-four  counties  are 
to  be  found  in  the  Colony,  and  the  hardy  pioneer  was  fast  pushing 
his  way  to  the  base  of  the  Blue  Eidge  mountains,  but  of  the  country 
beyond  the  Blue  Eidge  mountains  notliing  was  known  except  the 
indefinite  accounts  of  Indian  traders. 

Governor  Spotswood  determined  to  explore  this  unknown  region 
and,  leaving  the  home  of  his  son-in-law  at  Chelsea,  in  August,  1716, 
accompanied  by  a  gay  and  gallant  band,  he  began  his  journey 
through  a  dense  wilderness  inhabited  by  beasts  of  prey  and  the  cruel 
savage,  and  after  thirty-six  days  of  incessant  toil  and  fatigue,  the 
Governor  and  his  party,  on  September  5,  1716,  reached  the  sum- 
mit of  one  of  the  highest  peaks  of  the  Blue  Eidge  mountains,  at 
Swift  Eun  Gap,  Augusta  county,  Virginia. 


Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

What  a  spot !  What  an  occasion !  What  must  have  been  the  feel- 
ings experienced  by  these  gallant  knights,  when  for  the  first  time 
the  beautiful  Shenandoah  was  presented  to  their  vision!  The 
inspiration  of  the  occasion  must  have  been  full  compensation  for  all 
the  toil  and  perseverance  expended  in  the  effort.  Governor  Spots- 
wood,  in  commemoration  of  this  expedition  into  the  heart  of  the 
savage  wilderness,  presented  each  of  the  company  with  a  small 
golden  horse-shoe  set  with  jewels,  and  this  was  the  origin  of  the 
order,  "Knights  of  the  Golden  Horse-Shoe." 

The  inscription  upon  the  golden  horse-shoe  was  "Sic  jurat  trans- 
cendere  montes.'^  (Thus  he  swears  to  cross  the  mountains),  and  it 
is  stated  that  these  mementoes  were  given  to  all  who  would  accept 
them,  promising  to  comply  with  the  terms  of  the  inscription. 

Spotswood  Crossing  the  Blue  Ridge. 

Governor  Spotswood  and  his  company  descended  the  western  side 
of  the  mountain  into  the  valley,  and,  finding  a  ford,  they  crossed 
the  Shenandoah  river  and  "took  possession  of  the  country  for  King 
George  the  First  of  England."  They  crossed  the  Shenandoah  river 
on  September  6th  and  called  it  the  Euphrates. 

Thus  the  first  passage  of  the  Blue  Eidge  into  the  Valley  of 
Virginia  was  made  by  Governor  Spotswood  at  this  time,  but,  as 
early  as  1710,  a  company  of  adventurers  found  and  went  to  the 
top  of  the  highest  mountain  with  their  horses,  but  did  not  pass  over 
it  into  the  valley,  by  reason  of  the  lateness  of  the  season.  Abraham 
Wood  had  visited  the  New  Eiver  section  in  the  year  1654. 

1738.  In  the  year  1738  the  House  of  Burgesses  of  Virginia 
passed  a  bill  for  the  formation  of  two  countries  west  of  the  Blue 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  19 

Eidge  mountains,  and  accordingly  Orange  county  was  divided  and 
that  part  of  Orange  county  west  of  the  Blue  Eidge  mountains  was 
formed  into  two  counties,  called  Frederick  and  Augusta  counties. 
Thus  was  opened  to  settlement  a  magnificent  country  of  which 
Washington  county  is  a  part,  and  as  the  history  of  Washington 
county  is  inseparably  connected  with  the  early  history  of  Augusta 
county,  I  will  here  take  leave  of  the  general  history  of  Virginia. 

20  .    Southwest  Virginia,  17JiG-17SG. 


Indians  Living  in  Close  Pkoximity  to  Southwest  Virginia. 

The  discovery  of  America  by  Columbus  in  1492  can  be  attrib- 
uted to  the  pious  zeal  of  the  Queen  of  Spain  to  extend  the  bene- 
fits of  the  religion  of  Eome  to  all  manldnd,  and  to  the  search  for 
gold.  It  is  a  matter  of  history  that  the  Queen  of  Spain,  to  enable 
Columbus  to  explore  the  western  seas,  sacrificed  many  of  the  jewels 
pertaining  to  her  queenly  estate. 

And  the  Queen  of  Spain  was  but  one  of  many  emissaries  of  the 
church,  who,  in  their  zeal,  were  ready,  to  brave  tlie  unknown  seas 
and  to  make  any  sacrifices  to  serve  their  master.  With  Columbus 
came  a  number  of  priests,  and  with  every  ship  that  sailed  from  the 
co-ast  of  Spain,  France,  Portugal  and  Italy,  the  missionaries  of  the 
cross  were  to  be  numbered  among  the  passengers,  bound  for  Amer- 
ica, determined  to  explore  the  New  World,  hunt  out  the  inhabitants 
thereof,  and  convert  them'  to  their  master.  Thus,  within  a  few  years 
after  the  discovery  of  America,  priests  were  to  be  found  in  almost 
every  part  of  the  New  World,  exploring  the  country  and  teaching 
the  Indians  their  blessed  religion.  The  priesthood  of  Rome  in 
those  early  days  were  educated,  energetic,  observing  men,  as  they 
have  ever  been,  and  it  is  to  this  source  that  we  must  look  for  the 
earliest  histor}^  of  our  country  and  of  the  Indian  inhabitants  for 
many  years  previous  to  the  coming  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  race. 

These  early  visitors  to  this  portion  of  America  preserved  a  history 
of  their  times,  and  it  is  to  be  found  in  the  archives  of  the  govern- 
ments of  France,  Spain  and  Portugal,  and  of  the  Church  of 
Rome.  This  investigation  will  not  permit  any  inquiry  extending 
beyond  the  limits  of  that  portion  of  Southwest  Virginia  included 
within  the  bounds  of  Washington  county. 

In  the  year  1539  Hernando  De  Soto  landed  at  Tampa,  Florida, 
with  orders  from  the  Court  of  Spain  to  form  a  settlement  on  the 
seashore  and  to  explore  Florida  to  its  westernmost  limits. 

The  Spanish  government  at  that  time  contended  that  Florida 
included  all  that  part  of  America  extending  from  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico  on  the  south  to  Virginia  on  the  north,  and  from  the 
Atlantic  Ocean  to  the  Pacific. 

Southwest  Virginia,  llJ^G-nSG.  21 

Pursuant  to  his  authority  De  Soto,  at  the  head  of  a  thousand 
nien,  exploring  the  country,  traveled  in  a  northerly  direction  to  the 
home  of  the  Appalaches,  a  tribe  of  Indians  living  on  the  banks  of 
a  river  in  Georgia  called  by  the  Indians  Witchlacooche ;  thence, 
continuing  in  a  northerly  direction,  they  passed  near  the  present  site 
of  Columbia,  S.  C,  where  they  struck  the  Santee  river,  thenoe  pass- 
ing up  the  Saluda  branch  of  the  Santee,  they  came,  for  the  first 
time,  to  a  country  uninhabited,  and  found  it  difficult  to  obtain  food 
sufficient  to  sustain  themselves,  but  sending  out  companies  of  men 
to  search  for  Indians,  after  some  time  a  party  of  men  returned 
to  camp  accompanied  by  a  few  Indians,  who,  being  questioned, 
informed  De  Soto  that  to  the  north  of  them  there  lived  a  powerful 
tribe  of  Indians  on  the  Hogoheegee  river  (Tennessee  river),  to 
which  place  they  traveled.  This  tribe  of  Indians  was  called,  at  that 
time,  Cafitachique  and  was  governed  by  a  queen. 

The  historian  of  this  expedition,  Louis  Hernandez  De  Biedma, 
says :  "We  remained  ten  or  twelve  days  in  the  Queen's  village,  and 
then  set  off  to  continue  our  explorations  of  the  country." 

De  Soto  marched  thence  ton  days  in  a  northerly  direction  through 
a  mountainous  country  where  but  little  food  was  to  be  found  until 
he  reached  a  province  called  Xuala,  which  was  thinly  settled.  Ho 
then  ascended  to  the  source  of  the  Great  river,*  which  he  supposed 
was  the  St.  Esprit.  This  information  was  furnished  by  De  Biedma 
to  the  King  and  council  of  the  West  Indies  in  1544  and  is  now 
in  existence  and  fully  authenticated. 

To  any  one  who  will  take  the  time  and  trouble  to  investigate  this 
matter  it  will  be  evident  that  De  Soto  and  his  followers  explored 
the  country  from  Florida  to  the  Queen's  village,  which  must  have 
been  on  the  Tennessee  river  near  the  present  site  of  Knoxville, 
Tennessee.  Thence  ascending  the  same  to  its  sources  they  were,  as 
early  as  1540,  beyond  question,  visitors  to  the  territory  now  included 
within  the  boundaries  of  Washington  county. 

The  course  pursued  and  the  time  required,  it  has  been  aptly  said, 
confirm  this  opinion. 

But  a  small  part  of  the  account  of  this  trip  of  exploration  has 
been  herein  copied,  but  space  will  not  permit  much  to  be  said.  The 
reader  must  not  conclude  from  what  has  been  said  that  De  Soto 
and  his  followers  met  with  no  resistance  from  the  inhabitants  of 

*The  Indians  always  spoke  of  the  Tennessee  river  as  the  Great  river. 

23  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

the  country  through  which  they  passed,  for  this  same  account  de- 
tails the  incidents  connected  with  many  desperate  battles  between 
the  invaders  and  the  invaded,  and  at  no  part  of  the  journey  did  De 
Soto  meet  such  magnificent  specimens  of  mankind  or  find  greater 
resistance  than  upon  his  arrival  at  the  Queen's  village  on  the  Ten- 
nessee and  in  his  progress  thence  to  the  sources  of  the  Great  river. 

De  Biedma  tells  us  that  the  inhabitants  of  Xuala  were  a  hardy 
race,  living  in  log  houses  daubed  with  clay  and  very  comfortable  in 
the  winter  season,  but  that  during  the  summer  months  they  usually 
reposed  in  the  open  air,  spending  much  of  their  time  in  hunting. 

According  to  this  same  authority  they  used  sharped-edged  stones, 
slings,  bows,  arrows  and  clubs  in  war  and  peace.  Many  evidences 
of  the  instruments  used  by  the  Indians  and  the  places  of  their 
manufacture  are  to  be  found  in  Southwest  Virginia  at  this  date. 

The  inhabitants  of  Xuala  lived,  as  did  all  the  Indian  inhabitants 
south  of  the  Potomac  and  Ohio  rivers,  in  towns,  but  the  towns  of 
the  inhabitants  of  Xuala  differed  from  those  of  most  other  tribes 
of  Indians  in  this,  that  their  towns  generally  were  so  built  as  to 
combine  the  requisites  of  a  town  and  a  fort. 

These  forts  were  circular  and  varied  in  size  from  three  hun- 
dred to  six  hundred  and  a  thousand  feet  in  diameter. 

They  were  sometimes  built  of  stone,  and  in  other  instances  of 
earth.  The  embankments  were  from  six  to  ten  feet  high  and  in 
many  cases  surrounded  by  ditches  of  requisite  width  and  depth. 

They  were  used  as  towns  as  well  as  forts.  Many  fragments  of 
carved  stone  and  earthenware  are  to  be  found  near  those  old  forts. 

The  remnants  of  these  forts  or  towns  can  be  found  in  Southwest 
Virginia  at  this  time. 

In  Castle's  Woods,  Eussell  county,  as  well  as  on  the  farm  of  T.  P. 
Hendricks  and  at  other  places  in  this  county,  the  evidences  of 
former  Indian  towns  are  clearly  perceptible. 

A  stone  fort  of  great  size  formerly  stood  in  Abb's  Valley,  Taze- 
well county,  and  what  is  spoken  of  as  a  remarkable  fort  is  to  be 
found  on  the  farm  formerly  owned  by  a  Mr.  Crockett  near  Tazewell 
C.  H.,  having  evident  traces  of  trenches  and  something  like  a  draw- 

An  Indian  town  stood  upon  the  Byars  farm  in  the  upper  end  of 
this  county,  and  the  Indian  name  thereof  is  preserved :  "Kilmack- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  23 

These  forts  and  other  eyidences  of  Indian  occupancy  must  be 
attributed  to  the  men  occupying  Xuala  at  the  time  of  the  visit  of  De 
Soto  in  1540,  for  they  cannot  be  the  product  of  the  Cherokees. 
since  an  examination  of  the  age  of  trees  found  growing  on  these 
forts  is  sufficient  to  show  that  they  were  there  before  the  coming 
of  the  Cherokees,  and,  for  this  better  reason,  these  forts  were  not 
built  after  the  manner  of  the  Cherokees. 

From  a  perusal  of  the  preceding  pages  it  is  evident  that  the 
land  of  the  Xualas  of  three  hundred  and  sixty  years  ago  was  none 
other  than  Southwest  Virginia  and  East  Tennessee,  and  that  it  was 
peopled  by  a  hardy,  ingenious,  war-like  race. 

It  is  proper  to  state  here  that  many  historians  repudiate  the  idea 
that  De  Soto  visited  Southwest  Virginia  in  1540,  but  it  is  the 
opinion  of  this  writer  that  he  did  visit  this  section  at  that  time, 
and  this  opinion  is  given  after  a  careful  perusal  of  all  available 

We  know  nothing  further  of  the  people  who  inhabited  Xuala,  or 
Southwest  Virginia  in  1540.  A  tradition  existed  among  the  Chero- 
kees that  these  people  were  driven  from  Southwest  Virginia  by 
the  Cherokees  some  time  in  the  ages  preceding  the  coming  of  the 
white  man,  but  no  authentic  information  exists  by  which  their  exit 
can  be  noted. 

Captain  Henry  Batte  with  a  company  of  rangers,  by  direction  of 
Governor  Berkley,  crossed  the  Blue  Eidge  mountains  at  "Wood's 
Gap  now  in  Floyd  county,  in  1671  and  came  near  to  the  habitations 
of  a  tribe  of  Indians  living  on  a  river  flowing  westward,  said  by  the 
Indian  guides  to  be  the  makers  and  venders  of  salt  to  Ihe  other 
Indian  tribes,  and  Trembling,  in  many  particulars,  the  inhabitants 
of  Xuala  as  described  by  De  Biedma,  and  it  is  rn^re  than  prob- 
able that  the  early  inhabitants  of  Southwest  Virginia  were  not 
driven  from  their  homes  until  after  1671. 

As  far  as  I  can  ascertain,  the  Indian  inhabitants  of  Southwest 
Virginia  have  been  Xualans,  Cherokees  and  Shawnese. 

Some  time  between  the  years  1671  and  1685  the  Xualans  were 
driven  from  Southwest  Virginia  by  the  Cherokee  tribe  of  Indians, 
and  this  tribe  is  closely  identified  with  the  settlement  of  Southwest 

Adair,  an  early  writer,  says  that  this  tribe  of  Indians  derive  their 
name  from  Chee-ra  "fire,"  which  is  their  reputed  lower  heaven. 

24  Southwest  Virginia,  17 Ji  6-17 80. 

The  origin  of  this  tribe  is  not  known,  but  a  tradition  existed 
among  them  that  when  they  crossed  the  Alleghanies  they  found  a 
part  of  the  Creek  Nation  inhabitating  this  countr}^,  and  it  may  be 
that  the  Creek  Indians  were  the  inhabitants  of  ancient  Xuala. 

The  Cherokees  were  the  mountaineers  of  ahoriginal  America; 
they  loved  their  homes,  were  brave  to  a  fault,  and  were  never  happy 
except  when  engaged  in  war. 

This  nation  and  many  of  their  villages  will  be  frequently  men- 
tioned in  connection  with  the  early  exploration  and  settlement  of 
Southwest  Virginia,  for  many  times  did  our  ancestors  suffer  from 
their  vigor  and  enterprise. 

This  tribe  of  Indians  gave  names  to  most  of  the  rivers  in  South- 
west Virginia,  and  it  may  be  proper  to  here  detail  the  aboriginal 
names  of  the  rivers  of  Southwest  Virginia. 

The  Holston  river  from  its  source  to  the  junction  of  the  French 
Broad,  was  called  the  Hogoheegee,  and  from  thence  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Little  Tennessee  river  it  was  known  as  the  Cootcla. 

The  early  maps  of  this  section  of  America  made  by  the  French 
explorers  gave  to  the  Holston  river  the  name  of  the  Cherokee  river ; 
to  the  Clinch  they  gave  the  name  of  Shawanon,  and  to  the  same 
river  the  English  gave  the  name  of  Shawanoa,  and  the  Indian 
name  for  the  Clinch  river  was  Pellissippi. 

The  Cherokees  were  not  long  permitted  to  enjoy  the  fruits  of 
their  conquest,  for  as  early  as  1672  the  confederacy  of  the  Six 
Nations  conquered  the  Illinois  and  Shawnese  Indians,  the  latter 
tribe  being  a  part  of  the  Six  Nations. 

In  1685  they  added  to  their  conquests  the  Miamis  and  carried 
their  victorious  arms  to  the  Mississippi  and  south  as  far  as  Georgia, 
a  vast  territory  twelve  hundred  miles  in  length  and  six  hundred 
miles  in  breadth,  and,  in  doing  so,  destroyed  whole  nations  of  In- 
dians of  whom  no  record  was  found  by  the  English. 

The  Cherokees  were  driven  south  of  the  Tennessee,  and  settled 
upon  the  Savannah  and  in  the  territory  south  of  the  Tennessee,  and 
there  made  their  homes  until  moved  by  the  Anglo-Saxon  settlers 
about  one  hundred  years  thereafter. 

Thus  the  vast  extent  of  territory  lying  south  and  east  of  the  Ohio 
river  and  including  Southwest  Virginia  was  conquered,  but  not 
occupied,  by  the  confederacy  of  the  Six  Nations,  and  its  inhabitants 
were  driven  into  other  countries.   It  thus  became  a  vast  wilderness, 

Southwest  Virgmia,  1746-1786.  25 

never  thereafter  to  be  occupied  until  the  coming  of  the  white  man, 
except  by  roving  bands  of  Indians  while  himting,  or  in  passing  from 
their  habitations  in  the  south  to  the  Indian  towns  and  villages  in 

This  vast  park  was  filled  ^vith  the  finest  game  in  great  quantities, 
and,  for  more  than  one  hundred  years  previous  to  its  settlement  by 
the  Anglo-Saxon,  it  was  jointly  used,  as  if  by  common  consent,  as 
a  hunting  ground  by  the  Cherokees,  Shawnese  and  Six  Nations,  but 
the  Cherokees  were  compelled  to  admit  the  superior  title  of  the  Six 
Nations  to  the  sovereignty  of  the  soil,  which  they  did  by  frequent 
gifts  of  game  killed  within  the  territory. 

Some  writers,  in  explanation  of  the  absence  of  the  Indians  from 
this  section  of  America  at  the  time  of  the  early  explorations  of 
the  white  man,  give  the  following  as  a  tradition  of  the  Cherokees 
and  Shawnese:  "tbat  in  so  favored  a  land,  where  man's  natural 
wants  are  so  fully  satisfied,  there  could  be  no  community  of  peace 
and  happiness^,  that  with  such  ease  to  the  body  and  disquiet  to  the 
soul  the  councils  of  man  must  always  overflow  with  the  vanities 
of  argument  and  the  pride  of  innate  egotism;  so  the  tradition  was, 
that  once  of  old  there  was  a  delegated  assemblage  of  the  chiefs  of 
the  Indian  tribes  for  a  conference  with  the  Great  Spirit,  at  which 
conference  the  Great  Spirit  detailed  certain  great  calamities  that 
had  befallen  them  in  the  paradise  of  Hogoheegee,  which  were  trace- 
able to  the  causes  named  above,  and  thereupon  the  Great  Spirit 
ordered  all  their  nations  to  remeve  beyond  certain  boundaries,  out 
of  this  Eden,  which  the  Great  Spirit  informed  them  was  too  easy 
of  life  for  their  content  and  happiness  and  their  future  security." 

Thereupon  this  vast  empire  was  consigned  to  the  peaceful  domin- 
ion of  nature,  and  all  the  lands  upon  the  waters  from  the  Holston  to 
the  headwaters  of  the  Kentucky  and  Cumberland  rivers  were  with- 
out permanent  inhabitants. 

The  first  cause  above  assigned  was  the  true  cause  of  the  uninhab- 
ited condition  of  Southwest  Virginia,  the  enmity  between  the  Chero- 
kees and  Shawnese.  This  enmity  was  such  as  to  deter  both  tribes 
from  any  considerable  aggressions  on  this  territor}^,  the  middle 
ground  between  the  nations.  Many  battles  were  fought  between 
these  two  nations,  and,  even  so  late  as  the  summer  of  1768,  a  des- 

26  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

perate  battle  was  fought  between  the  Cherokees  and  Shawnese  near 
Eieh  Mountain,*  in  Tazewell  county,  Virginia. 

Early  in  the  summer  of  1768  about  two  hundred  Cherokee  In- 
dians camped  near  a  lick  in  that  part  of  Southwest  Virginia  to 
spend  the  summer  in  hunting. 

They  were  soon  disturbed  by  the  appearance  of  several  hundred 
Shawnese  Indians,  their  deadly  enemies. 

The  Shawnese  chief  immediately  sent  orders  to  the  Cherokees  to 
leave  the  lick  and  the  hunting  grounds,  but  his  messenger  was  sent 
back  with  a  defiant  answer  by  the  Cherokees  and  both  parties  began 
to  prepare  for  battle.  The  Cherokees  retired  to  the  top  of  Rich 
Montain  and  there  threw  up,  before  night,  a  breastwork  consisting 
of  an  embankment  running  along  the  top  of  the  mountain  about 
eighty  yards  and  then  turning  off  down  the  mountain  side,  the  em- 
bankment being  three  or  four  feet  high  and  running  east  and  west. 

The  battle  was  opened  the  evening  of  the  first  day,  but  after 
some  fighting  the  Shawnese  withdrew  and  made  preparations  to 
begin  the  attack  the  following  morning.  It  is  said  that  long  before 
day  the  fiendish  yells  of  the  warriors  might  be  heard  echoing 
over  the  rugged  cliffs  and  deep  valleys  of  the  surrounding  country. 
Day  came,  and  for  the  space  of  half  an  hour,  a  deathlike  stillness 
reigned  on  the  mountain  top  and  side.  With  the  first  rays  of  the 
rising  sun  a  shout  ascended  the  skies  as  if  all  the  wild  animals  in 
the  woods  had  broken  forth  in  all  their  most  terrifying  notes. 

The  sharp  crack  of  rifles  and  the  ringing  of  tomahawks  against 
each  other,  the  screams  of  women  and  children  and  the  groans  of 
the  dying  now  filled  the  air  around. 

Both  parties  were  well  armed  and  the  contest  was  nearly  equal, 
the  Shawnese  having  most  men,  while  the  Cherokees  had  the  advan- 
tage of  their  breastworks.  Through  the  entire  day  the  battle  raged, 
and  when  night  closed  in,  both  parties  built  fires  and  camped  on 
the  ground. 

During  the  night  the  Cherokees  sent  to  two  white  men  then  in  the 
vicinity  for  powder  and  lead,  which  they  furnished. 

When  the  sun  rose  the  next  morning  the  battle  was  renewed  with 
the  same  spirit  in  which  it  had  been  fought  on  the  previous  day.  In 
a  few  hours,  however,  the  Shawnese  were  compelled  to  retire.  The 
loss  on  both  sides  was  great.    A  large  pit  was  dug  and  a  common 

*Bickley's  History  of  Tazewell  County. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  27 

grave  received  those  who  had  fallen  in  this  the  last  battle  fought 
between  the  red  men  in  this  section  of  America.  The  battle-ground, 
breastwork  and  great  grave  are  still  to  be  seen. 

At  the  time  of  the  earlier  explorations  of  Southwest  Virginia  the 
nearest  permanent  Indian  settlements  were  to  be  found  south  of  the 
Tennessee  river. 

Many  vestiges  of  an  earlier  and  numerous  population  were  found 
in  Southwest  Virginia  and,  in  many  instances,  are  still  to  be  seen, 
indicating  a  state  of  civilization  far  in  advance  of  that  found  among 
the  Indians  of  that  day. 

Tlie  first  hunters  and  explorers  in  their  many  exped^itions 
throughout  all  this  vast  territory  never  found  a  single  wigwam  cr 
Indian  village.,  It  was  nothing  more  than  the  common  hunting 
ground  of  the  Cherokees  and  Shawnese. 

Along  the  valley  of  what  is  known  as  Southwest  Virginia  lay  the 
usual  route  of  travel  between  the  Southern  and  Northern  Indians, 
whether  engaged  in  peaceful  intercourse  or  warlike  expeditions,  and 
by  this  same  path  they  traveled  when  on  the  chase  or  their  migra- 

Several  considerations  prompted  the  Indians  to  adopt  this  course 
in  their  travelings,  viz. :  such  as  the  ease  with  which  the  mountains 
could  be  crossed,  the  abundance  of  game,  the  absence  of  swamps  and 
large  streams  of  impassable  water  and  the  absence  of  hostile  inhabi- 
tants, and  these  same  considerations  led  to  the  early  settlement  of 
this  section  and  the  adoption  of  this  route  of  travel  by  the  early 
Scotchf^rish  and  English  settlers  of  Kentucky  and  Tennessee. 

One  of  these  routes  or  Indian  trails  was  nearly  on  the  present 
McAdam  road  passing  Eoanoke,  Va.,  thence  to  New  Eiver  near 
Inglis'  Ferry,  thence,  following  the  same  McAdam  road,  to  Seven 
Mile  Ford,  thence  to  the  left  of  the  present  main  road  and  following 
near  to  the  present  location  of  the  same  by  Abingdon  until  it  strikes 
the  North  Fork  of  Holston  river  a  few  miles  above  the  Long 
Island  of  Holston  river,  crossing  the  same  at  the  old  ford  of  the 
North  Fork  and  on  into  Tennessee  until  it  connected  with  the  great 
warpath  of  the  Creeks.  Near  Wolf  Hills,  now  Abingdon,  another 
route  or  trail  came  in  from  the  northwest.  This  trail  from  the 
northwest  pursued  nearly  the  route  traveled  by  the  early  settlers  to 
Kentucky,  crossing  the  mountains  at  Cumberland  Gap.     A  more 

28  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

minute  description  of  this  trail  will  be  given  in  another  and  more 
appropriate  place  in  this  book. 

This  trail  crossed  the  first  above  described  Indian  trail  at  a  point 
on  West  Main  street  where  the  Eussell  road  leaves  Main  street.  The 
statement  has  been  often  made  that  an  Indian  trail  followed  the 
northwest  bank  of  the  JSTorth  Fork  of  Holston  river  through  this 
count}',  but  I  am  not  satisfied  that  such  was  a  fact. 

Bickley,  in  his  history  of  Tazewell  county,  says  the  principal 
Indian  trails  through  Tazewell  county  led  through  the  Clinch  Val- 
ley, but  after  the  whites  began  to  settle,  these  Indian  trails  all  led 
from  the  Ohio  river.  One  of  these  trails  led  up  the  Indian  Eidge 
(now  on  the  boundary  between  Virginia  and  West  Virginia)  till 
opposite  the  Trace  Fork  of  Tug  river;  it  then  crossed  over  to  that 
braiich  and,  keeping  into  the  lowest  gap  of  the  hills,  led  into  Abb's 

Another  trail,  afterwards  much  used  by  the  whites,  left  the 
Indian  Eidge  and  struck  Tug  river  at  the  mouth  of  Clear  Fork 
creek,  thence  up  that  creek  till  it  fell  over  on  a  branch  emptying 
into  tlie  Dry  Fork  of  Tug  river.  It  then  followed  that  stream  to  its 
head  and  passed  through  Eoark's  Gap,  near  Maxwell's,  in  Taze- 
well county. 

Another  trail  cauie  up  the  Louisa  Fork  of  Sandy  river,  leading 
into  the  settlements  on  Clinch  river,  now  in  Eussell  and  Tazewell 
counties.  It  is  worthy  of  notice  tliat  these  trails  always  crossed 
the  mountains  and  ridges  at  the  lewdest  gaps  to  be  found,  and 
frequently,  built  in  these  gaps,  are  to  be  found  monuments  of 
rock  piled  up  oftentimes  to  considerable  height.  Several  of  these 
monuments  may  be  seen  in  this  coimty,  in  Little  Moccasin  Gap,  on 
the  Byars  farm  on  Middle  Fork,  on  the  Mahaffey  farm  on  South 
Fork,  and  another  in  Eoark's  Gap,  in  Tazewell  county. 

Eamsey,  in  his  Annals  of  Tennessee,  states  that  the  first  described 
Indian  trail  after  leaving  Seven  Mile  Ford  bore  to  the  left  and  fol- 
lowed the  Middle  and  South  Forks  of  Holston  river  until  it  crossed 
the  North  Fork  of  Holston  river  at  the  Old  Ford  above  Long 
Island  in  Tennessee. 

In  making  this  statement  the  historian  may  be  correct,  and  some 
evidences  yet  remain  that  might  be  given  to  sustain  this  statement, 
notably  a  small  Indian  mound  and  the  vestiges  of  an  old  Indian 
village  (Kilmackronan),  on  the  north  and  south  sides  of  the  Middle 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  29 

Fork  of  Holston  river,  where  the  same  passes  through  the  farm 
formerly  owned  by  Captain  James  Byars  near  Glade  Spring,  and  a 
small  Indian  mound  on  the  farm  formerly  owned  by  J.  Gr.  Mahaffey 
about  six  miles  southeast  of  Abingdon. 

But  we  cannot  admit  this  statement  to  be  coj-rect,  because  the 
route  as  described  is  inconsistent  with  the  habits  of  the  Indians, 
besides,  it  does  not  confonn  to  the  course  pursued  by  the  early  set- 
tlers of  this  section  of  Virginia. 

The  Indian  in  traveling  (almost  without  a  single  exception,  as 
far  as  I  can  ascertain)  followed  that  course  of  travel  which  would, 
as  far  as  possible,  avoid  the  crossing  of  water,  and  of  course  he 
followed  the  highlands  near  the  headwaters  of  the  creeks  and  rivers. 
It  is  evident  to  every  man  conversant  with  the  topography  of  this 
county  that  he  would  have  passed  through  this  county  near  Glade 
Spring,  Meadow  View  and  Abingdon. 

It  is  generally  accepted  as  true  that  the  early  hunters  and  explor- 
ers in  this,  as  well  as  other  sections  of  Virginia  and  the  United 
States,  followed,  almost  without  a  single  deviation,  the  trails  made 
and  used  by  the  Indians.  And  to  this  cause  may  be  attributed  the 
fact  that  many  of  the  public  roads  of  this  section  when  first  estab- 
lished were  located  over  the  steepest  hills  and  ridges  to  be  found  in 
our  country. 

In  other  words,  the  Indian  made  his  trail  over  the  hills  to  avoid 
the  waters ;  the  white  man  adopted  the  Indian  trail  as  his  road 
becaiise  it  was  already  open,  and  possibly,  to  some  extent,  for  the 
same  reason  as  the  Indian,  to  avoid  crossing  water. 

We  know  that  the  early  hunters  and  settlers  traveling  through 
and  settling  in  this  section,  after  leaving  Seven  Mile  Ford  passed 
througli  the  Byars  farm  near  Glade  Spring,  thence  near  Meadow 
View  and  through  the  location  of  Abingdon  of  the  present  day,  and 
into  Tennessee. 

Another  statement  made  by  Eamsey  as  to  this  same  Indian  trail 
is  frequently  challenged,  and  for  very  good  reason. 

Ramsey  states  that  this  Indian  trail  crossed  the  North  Fork  of 
Holston  river  above  Long  Island  as  above  stated,  while  from  all 
present  indications  this  trail  crossed  the  South  Fork  of  Holston 
river  at  Long  Island. 

At  least  evidences  of  an  Indian  trail  and  ford  are  to  be  seen 
near  Long  Island  at  this  time,  and  it  is  not  reasonable  to  believe 

30  Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786. 

that  the  Indians  would  cross  the  Xorth  Fork  of  the  Holston  river 
and  then  the  Holston  river  proper  to  reach  his  towns  and  home, 
when  he  could  cross  the  South  Fork  of  Holston  once  and  reach  his 

While  Southwest  Virginia  and  East  Tennessee  were  unoccupied 
by  the  Indians  at  the  time  of  the  early  settlements,  still  it  may  not 
be  amiss  to  give  briefly  a  description  of  the  Indian  tribes  that  pre- 
ceded our  forefathers  and  afterwards  gave  them  so  much  trouble  in 
their  first  undertakings. 

As  to  the  remote  Indian  inhabitants  of  this  section  of  the  Ameri- 
can Continent,  nothing  authentic  is  known  beyond  the  evidences  of 
their  occupancy  to  be  gathered  from  tumuli  scattered  throughout 
the  country  and  the  remains  found  in  close  proximity  thereto. 

These  remains  indicate  the  existence,  at  some  distant  time,  of  a 
dense  population,  civilized  to  a  great  extent,  and  it  is  not  improb- 
able that  at  a  time  in  the  past  all  this  section  was  the  seat  of  a 
civilization  that  would  have  compared  favorably  with  that  of  Greece 
and  Eome. 

The  Cherokee  Indians  Icnew  nothing  further  of  these  vestiges 
than  that  their  forefathers  found  them  here,  and  they  considered 
them  the  evidences  of  a  numerous  population  far  advanced  in  civili- 

The  modern  Indian  held  in  great  veneration  these  evidences  of 
an  extinct  tribe,  and  never  used  them  save  for  religious  purposes. 

The  piles  of  stones  often  found  scattered  throughout  the  country, 
generally  to  be  found  in  the  gaps  of  the  mountains  and  ridges,  are 
believed  to  be  the  work  of  modern  Indians.  The  modern  Indian 
was  of  an  exceedingly  superstitious  turn,  as  all  barbarians  or 
heathen  nations  have  been. 

It  has  been  for  all  time  not  uncommon  to  find,  in  heathen  coun- 
tries, similar  heaps  of  stone  erected  by  the  inhabitants  at  some 
particular  spot,  as  an  offering  to  an  evil  spirit,  who,  according  to 
their  superstitions,  would  afflict  or  bless  the  passer-by. 

A  pile  of  stone,  such  as  indicated,  may  be  seen  near  the  main 
turnpike  road  as  it  passes  through  Little  Moccasin  Gap. 

The  Indian  tribes  that  molested  the  early  settlers  in  this  section 
were  the  Cherokees  and  the  Shawnese. 

Adair,  an  early  Indian  trader,  and  later  historian,  in  describing 
the  Indian  and  his  passion  for  revenge,  says: 

'Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  31 

"I  have  known  them  to  go  a  thousand  miles  for  the  purpose  of 
revenge,  in  pathless  woods,  over  hills  and  mountains,  through  large 
cane  swamps  full  of  grape-vines  and  briars,  over  broad  lakes,  rapid 
rivers  and  deep  creeks  and  all  the  way  endangered  by  poisonous 
snakes,  if  not  by  the  rambling  and  lurking  enemy,  while,  at  the 
same  time,  they  were  exposed  to  the  extremities  of  the  heat  and 
cold,  the  vicissitudes  of  the  season,  to  hunger  and  thirst,  both  by 
chance  and  their  religiously  scanty  method  of  living  when  at  war, 
to  fatigue  and  other  difficulties.  Such  is  their  revengeful  temper 
that  all  these  things  they  contemn  as  imaginary  trifles,  if  they  are 
so  happy  as  to  get  the  scalp  of  their  enemy." 

And  this  record  is  preserved  by  a  man  who  spoke  from  his 
experience  with  the  Cherokee  Indians,  the  one  tribe  that  gave  the 
early  settlers  of  this  section  more  trouble  than  all  the  Indian  tribes 


The  Cherokee  tribe  of  Indians,  at  the  time  of  the.  settlement  of 
Southwest  Virginia,  inhabited  one  of  the  most  attractive  sections 
of  the  American  Continent,  occupying  the  banks  of  the  Catawba, 
Savannah,  Yadkin  and  Tennessee  rivers  on  the  east  and  south  and 
several  of  the  feeders  of  the  Tennessee  on  the  west. 

There  were  no  fortresses  to  be  found  among  them.  Their  settle- 
ments were  rude  huts  scattered  irregularly  along  some  water  way 
convenient  to  good  pasture  land  and  hunting  and  fishing  grounds. 

They  usually  had  small  clearings  which  were  cultivated  by  the 
women  and  children  in  Indian  corn  and  beans. 

But  little  of  the  history  of  the  Cherokees  can  be  gathered  from 
their  traditions.  The  existence  of  this  tribe  of  Indians  was  noted  by 
the  historian  of  the  expedition  of  De  Soto  when  traveling  in  the 
South,  and  it  is  said  that  they  came  originally  from  east  of  the 
Alleghany  mountains.  Their  principal  town  or  capital  city  was 
Choto,  located  about  five  miles  from  the  ruins  of  Fort  Loudon,  in 

They  were  the  mountain  people  of  America  and  loved  their  homes 
and  their  liberties. 

They  frequently  aided  the  early  settlers  of  this  portion  of  America 
in  their  wars  with  the  French  and  English,  a  company  of  Indians 
from  this  tribe  having  participated  in  the  siege  of  Fort  Du  Quesne 

32  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

under  Captain  Pearls,  but  much  oftener  did  they  carry  death  into 
the  homes  of  tlie  early  settlers  of  the  Carolinas  and  Virginia. 

This  tribe,  previous  to  1769,  were  numerous  and  exceedingly 
quarrelsome  and  arrogant. 

At  this  time  they  quarreled  with  the  Chickasaw  Indians  and 
undertook  an  invasion  of  their  country,  but  were  overwhelmed  by 
the  Chickasaws  after  a  great  battle  at  the  Chickasaw  old  fields. 

This  overwhelming  defeat  occurred  at  the  same  time  that  Arthur 
Campl)ell,  William  Edmiston,  and  many  other '  hardy  pioneers 
fii-st  pitched  their  tents  on  the  waters  of  the  Holston  and  Clinch, 
and  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  this  occurrence  contributed  much  to 
the  rapid  settlement  of  this  section  of  Virginia. 

For  thirty  years  following  the  advent  of  the  first  settlers  into  this 
country  the  Cherokees  killed  and  scalped  the  inhabitants  at  every 

The  population  of  tliis  tribe  in  1735  was  considerable.  Adair 
says  that  they  had  sixty^four  populous  towns,  and  their  fighting 
men  numbered  ahove  six  thousand.. 

In  the  year  1776  the  number  of  warriors  pertaining  to  this  tribe 
was  two  thousand  four  hundred  and  ninety-one. 

This  h-lhe  of  Indians  now  occupy  a  part  of  the  Indian  Territory. 
It  will  be  remembered  that  the  Cherokees  used  principally  the  val- 
leys of  the  Holston  in  their  hunting  expeditions  and  seldom  visited 
the  valleys  of  the  Clinch. 


But  little  can  be  said  of  this  Indian  tribe  save  that  it  was  known 
as  a  wandering  nation. 

At  times  in  their  history  they  occupied  territory  in  almost  all 
sections  of  the  country  east  of  the  Mississippi  river  and  south  of 
the  Lakes,  but  at  the  time  when  this  tribe  gave  trouble  to  our 
ancestors  their  homes  were  on  the  Wabash  and  Miami  rivers,  where 
they  built  many  villages.  Their  principal  town,  called  "Piquo,^'  was 
the  birthplace  of  the  great  Tecumseh. 

This  tribe  had  a  tradition  respecting  their  origin.  They  believed 
their  fathers  crossed  the  ocean  from  the  East  under  the  guidance  of 
a  leader  of  the  Turtle  tribe,  one  of  their  original  subdivisions,  and 
that  they  walked  into  the  sea,  the  waters  of  which  parted,  and  thus 
passed  over  on  the  bottom  to  this -land. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  33 

This  tribe  of  Indians  were  responsible  for  many  of  the  murders 
and  outrages  suffered  by  the  early  settlers  on  the  Clinch  and  many 
times  on  the  Holston,  the  Indians  coming  by  the  trails  through 
Cumberland  Gap  and  the  trails  coming  into  Tazewell  county  pre- 
viously described. 

The  population  of  this  tribe  in  1735  did  not,  according  to  Adair, 
exceed  four  hundred  and  fifty  souls. 

This  tribe  of  Indians  assisted  the  British  in  the  wars  of  1776 
and  1812,  and  in  the  latter  struggle  did  effective  service  for  their 
British  allies. 

In  1817  they  ceded  their  lands  in  Ohio  to  the  United  States  and 
were  soon  confined  to  a  small  reservation  west  of  the  Mississippi 

34  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 


Eaely  Explorations  of  Southwest  Virginia  by  the  White 


From  the  time  of  the  first  settlement  at  Jamestown  in  1607,  the 
English  Colony  had  grown  rapidly  and  had  expanded  until  their 
western  borders  were  in  view  of  the  Blue  Eidge.  With  the  usual 
vigor  and  enterprise  of  the  Anglo-Saxon,  we  find,  in  the  year  1641, 
a  number  of  the  citizens  of  Virginia  petitioning  the  House  of  Bur- 
gesses for  permission  to  undertake  the  discovery  of  a  new  river  of 
land  west  and  southerly  from  the  Appomattox,  and,  in  March,  1642, 
we  find  the  House  of  Burgesses  passing  an  act  granting  such  per- 
mission.   The  act  is  as  follows : 

"Forasmuch  as  Walker  Austin,  Eice  Hoe,  Joseph  Johnson  and 
Walter  Chiles,  for  themselves  and  such  others  as  they  shall  think 
fitt  to  joyn  with  them,  did  petition  in  the  Assembly  in  June  1641 
for  leave  and  encouragement  to  undertake  the  discovery  of  a  new 
river  of  unknowne  land  bearing  west  southerly  from  Appomattake 
river.  Be  it  enacted  and  confirmed,  that  they  and  every  one  of  them 
and  whom  they  shall  admit  shall  enjoy  and  possess  to  them,  their 
heirs,  executors,  administrators  or  assigns  all  profit  whatsoever  they 
in  their  particular  adventure  can  make  unto  themselves  by  such 
discovery  aforesaid,  for  fourteen  years  after  the  date  of  the  said 
month  of  January,  1641,  provided  there  be  reserved  and  paid  into 
his  Majesty's  use  by  them'  that  shall  be  appointed  to  receive  them, 
the  fifth  part  of  Eoyal  Mines  whatsoever ;  provided  also,  that  if  they 
shall  think  fit  to  employ  more  than  two  or  three  men  in  the  said 
discovery  they  shall  then  do  it  by  commission  from  the  Governor  of 
the  Councill."* 

It  is  well  to  preserve  this  the  earliest  known  evidence  of  the  desire 
of  any  man  to  hunt  out  the  very  country  we  now  occupy. 

The  names  of  a  portion  of  these  first  daring  spirits,  Austin,  John- 
son and  Chiles,  afterwards  became  familiar  to  our  own  country, 
and  while  no  evidence  is  at  hand  to  establish  the  fact,  yet  it  is  more 
than  probable  that  these  men  by  their  efforts  made  possible  the 
future  success  of  Walker,  Draper,  Inglis,  Wood,  and  others. 

^1  Hen.  Stat.,  p.  262. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  35 

The  record  of  the  next  effort  to  reach  this  portion  of  the  wilder- 
ness by  the  enterprising  citizens  of  Eastern  Virginia  is  to  be  found 
in  an  act  of  the  House  of  Burgesses  of  Virginia  passed  in  July, 
1653j  more  than  a  hundred  years  before  a  permanent  settlement 
was  effected  on  the  waters  of  the  Clinch  or  Holston  rivers. 

The  Act  is  as  follows.     Passed  July,  1653  : 

"Whereas,  an  act  was  made  in  the  Assembly,  1642,  for  encour- 
agement of  discoveries  to  the  westward  and  southward  of  this 
country,  granting  them  all  profits  arising  thereby  for  fourteen 
years,  which  act  is  since  discontinued  and  made  void,  it  is  by 
this  Assembly  ordered  that  Colonel  William  Clayborne,  Esq.,  and 
Captain  Henry  Fleet,  they  and  their  associates  vidth  them,  either 
jointly  or  severally,  may  discover,  and  shall  enjoy  such  benefits, 
profits  and  trades  for  fourteen  years  as  they  shall  find  out  in  places 
where  no  English  ever  have  been  and  discovered,  nor  have  had  par- 
ticular trade,  and  to  take  up  such  lands  by  patents  proving  their 
rights  as  they  shall  think  good :  nevertheless,  not  excluding  others 
after  their  choice  from  taking  up  land  and  planting  in  these  new 
discovered  places,  as  in  Virginia  now  versed.  The  like  order  is 
granted  to  Major  Abram  Wood  and  his  associates." 

The  three  gentlemen,  William  Clayborne,  Henry  Fleet  and  Abra- 
ham Wood,  mentioned  in  this  act,  each  represented  a  shire  in  the 
Virginia  House  of  Burgesses,  and  were  intent,  no  doubt,  upon  the 
acquisition  of  wealth  and  the  development  of  the  country. 

We  have  no  information  that  leads  us  to  believe  that  any  of  the 
persons  named  in  the  preceding  act,  with  the  exception  of  Colo- 
nel Abraham  Wood,  at  any  time  made  an  effort  to  accomplish  the 
purpose  of  that  act. 

Dr.  Hale,  in  his  book  'entitled  "Trans- Alleghany  Pioneers,'^ 
makes  the  following  statement : 

"The  New  river  was  first  discovered  and  named  in  1654  by  Colo- 
nel Abraham  Wood,  who  dwelt  at  the  falls  of  the  Appomattox,  now 
the  site  of  Petersburg,  Va.^' 

Being  of  an  adventurous  and  speculative  turn,  he  got  from  the 
Governor  of  Virginia  a  concession  to  explore  the  country  and  open 
up  trade  with  the  Indians  to  the  west.  There  is  no  record  as  to 
the  particular  route  he  took,  but  as  the  line  of  adventure,  explora- 
tion and  discovery  was  then  all  east  of  the  mountains,  it  is  prob- 

36  Southwest  Virginia,  171^0-1786. 

able  that  he  first  struck  the  river  not  far  from  the  Blue  Kidge  and 
near  the  present  Virginia  and  North  Carolina  lines.'' 

I  do  not  know  from  what  source  Dr.  Hale  obtained  this  infor- 
mation, and  I  give  it  for  what  it  is  worth. 

It  is  reasonable  to  believe  that  Colonel  Wood  made  this  trip, 
and,  to  support  this  view,  three  circumstances  may  be  mentioned. 
First.  The  House  of  Burgesses  of  Virginia  had  authorized  Colo- 
nel Wood,  along  with  others,  in  July  of  the  preceding  year,  to 
discover  a  new  river  of  unknown  land  where  no  English  had  ever 
been  or  discovered.  Secondly.  A  gap  in  the  Blue  Ridge,  lying 
between  the  headwaters  of  Smith  river,  a  branch  of  the  Dan,  in 
Patrick  county,  and  of  Little  river,  a  branch  of  New  river,  in  Floyd 
county,  is  to  this  day  called  Wood's  Gap.  Thirdly.  The  present 
New  river  was  known  at  first  as  Wood's  river.  It  is  known  that 
at  the  time  Thomas  Batts  and  a  company  of  men  acting  under  the 
authority  of  Colonel  Wood  visited  this  section  in  the  year  1671, 
Wood's  Gap  and  New  river  had  been  previously  visited  and  named 
by  Colonel  Wood. 

In  the  year  1671,  Thomas  Batts  and  several  other  persons 
traveled  from  the  falls  of  the  Appomattox,  the  present  site  of  Pe- 
tersburg, Va.,  acting  under  a  commission  from  Governor  Berkley, 
to  explore  the  country  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  mountains  and  the 
South  Sea. 

It  is  worthy  of  notice  that  at  the  time  this  expedition  was  under- 
taken it  was  believed  that  the  waters  flowing  westward  beyond  the 
Appalachian  mountains  emptied  into  the  South  Sea. 

This  was  the  first  effort  made  to  explore  the  country  west  of  the 
Blue  Ridge,  of  which  any  record  has  been  preserved. 

A  journal  of  this  expedition  was  made  by  Thomas  Batts,  one  of 
the  company.     The  first  entry  in  this  journal  is  as  follows : 

"A  commission  being  granted  the  Hon.  Maj.  Gen.  Wood  for 
ye  finding  out  of  the  ebbing  and  flowing  of  ye  waters  behind  the 
mountains  in  order  to  the  discovery  of  the  South  Sea:  Thomas 
Batts,  Thomas  Wood,  Robert  Fallen,  accompanied  by  Perachute,  a 
great  man  of  the  Appomattox  Indians,  and  Jack  Nesan,  formerly 
servant  to  Majr.  Genl.  Wood,  with  five  horses,  set  forward  from 
Appomattox  town  in  Va.,  and  about  eight  of  the  clock  in  the  morn- 
ing being  Fryday  Septr.  1st.  1671,  and  traveling  about  forty  miles, 
took  up  their  quarters  and  found  they  had  traveled  from  Okene- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  37 

chee  path  due  west:  They  traveled  for  twenty-five  days,  a  part  of 
the  time  through  that  portion  of  Virginia,  near  the  present  line 
between  this  State  and  North  Carolina,  but  when  they  reached  the 
foot  of  the  Alleghany  Mountains  where  the  same  merges  into  the 
Blue  Eidge,  now  in  Floyd  Co.  Va.,  they  turned  to  the  north  west 
at  a  low  place  in  the  said  mountain  known  as  Wood's  G-ap;  and 
after  some  time  they  came  to  a  river  which  Genl.  Wood  had  named 
Wood's  Eiver.*  This  river  for  many  years  thereafter  was  known 
as  Wood's  Eiver,  and  many  of  the  early  patents  in  that  section 
of  the  country  describe  the  lands  as  located  upon  Wood's  Eiver." 
The  entry  in  this  diary  of  date  the  16th  of  Sept.  says :  "About 
ten  of  the  clock  we  set  forward  and,  after  we  had  traveled  about 
ten  miles,  one  of  the  Indians  killed  a  deer;  presently  after  they 
had  a  sight  of  a  curious  river  like  the  Thames  agt.  Chilcey  (Chel- 
sea), which  having  a  fall  yt  made  a  great  noise,  whose  course  was 
N.  and  so  as  they  supposed,  ran  W.  about  certain  pleasant  mountains 
which  they  saw  to  the  westward.  At  this  point  they  took  up  their 
quarters,  their  course  having  been  W.  by  N.  At  this  point  they 
found  Indian  fields  with  cornstalks  in  them.  They  marked  the 
trees  with  the  initials  of  the  company,  using  branding  irons,  and 
made  proclamation  in  these  words:  'Long  live  King  Charles  ye  2nd. 
king  of  England,  France,  Scotland,  Ireland  and  Virginia  and  all 
the  terrytories  thereunto  belonging,  defender  of  the  faith.' 

"Wlien  they  came  to  ye  river-side  they  found  it  better  and 
broader  than  they  expected,  fully  as  broad  as  the  Thames  over  agt, 
Maping,  ye  falls  much  like  the  falls  of  the  James  Eiver  in  Va.,  and 
imagined  by  the  water  marks  it  fiowed  there  about  three  feet.  It 
was  then  ebbing  water.  They  set  up  a  stick  by  the  water,  but 
found  it  ebbed  very  slowly." 

At  this  point  their  Indian  guides  stopped,  and  refused  to  go  any 
farther,  saying  that  there  dwelt  near  this  place  a  numerous  and 
powerful  tribe  of  Indians  that  made  salt  and  sold  it  to  the  other 
tribes,  and  that  no  one  who  entered  into  their  towns  had  ever  been 
able  to  escape.  Thereupon  the  trip  was  abandoned  and  they 
started  on  their  return  to  their  homes  without  having  accomplished 
the  object  of  the  exploration,  to-wlt:  the  finding  of  the  South  Sea. 
But  the  journal  adds  that  when  they  were  on  the  top  of  the  hill 
they  took  a  prospect  as  far  as  they  could  see  and  saw  westwardly 

*Now  New  River. 

38  Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786. 

over  certain  delightful  hills  a  fog  arise,  and  a  glimmering  light  as 
from  water,  and  supposed  they  might  be  from  some  great  bog. 

Many  writers  suppose  that  this  exploring  party,  after  reaching 
the  New  river,  descended  the  same  to  the  falls  of  the  Kanawha, 
but  it  is  more  than  probable  that  after  they  reached  the  river  they 
ascended  the  same,  and  the  stopping  point  mentioned  in  the  diary 
was  in  Southwest  Virginia,  and  near  where  the  New  river  first 
enters  Virginia. 

Upon  the  return  of  this  company  to  their  homes  Governor  Berk- 
ley was  very  much  interested  in  their  report,  but  strange  as  it 
may  seem  to  the  reader,  no  further  attempts  were  made  by  au- 
thority of  the  Government  of  Virginia  for  forty  years  to  explore 
the  country  west  of  the  mountains. 

It  will  be  seen  from'  the  journal  of  Thomas  Batts  that  he  and 
his  associates,  and,  beyond  a  doubt.  Colonel  Abraham  Wood  an- 
ticipated, by  more  than  half  a  century.  Governor  Spotswood  and 
his  Knights  of  the  Golden  Horse-Shoe,  in  the  exploration  and  dis- 
covery of  the  country  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  mountains. 

The  next  effort  made  to  explore  the  region  west  of  the  moun- 
tains, of  which  we  have  any  account,  occurred  in  1716,  forty-five 
years  after  the  journey  made  by  Thomas  Batts,  above  described, 
and  sixty  years  subsequent  to  the  visit  of  Colonel  Abraham  Wood. 

In  the  month  of  August,  1716,  Governor  Alexander  Spotswood, 
with  several  members  of  his  staff,  left  Williamsburg  by  coach  and 
proceeded  to  G^rmania,  where  he  left  his  coach  and  proceeded  on 
horseback.  At  Germania  this  party  was  supplemented  by  a  num- 
ber of  gentlemen,  their  retainers,  a  company  of  rangers,  and  four 
Meherrin  Indians — about  fifty  persons  in  all. 

They  journeyed  by  way  of  the  upper  Eappahannock,  and  on  the 
thirty-sixth  day  out,  being  September  5,  1716,  they  scaled  the  Blue 
Eidge  at  Swift  Run  Gap,  now  in  Augusta  county. 

John  Fontaine,  a  member  of  this  company,  has  left  a  journal  of 
this  expedition,  and  therein  thus  describes  what  occurred  when 
they  reached  the  summit  of  the  Blue  Ridge:  "We  drank  King 
George's  health  and  all  the  royal  family's  at  the  very  top  of  the 
Appalachian  mountains." 

The  company  then  descended  the  western  side  of  the  mountain, 
and,  reaching  the  Shenandoah  river,  they  encamped  upon  its  banks. 
Fontaine  thus  preserves  an  account  of  what  occurred : 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  39 

"The  Governor  had  graving  irons,  but  could  not  grave  anything, 
the  stones  were  so  hard.  I  graved  my  name  on  a  tree  by  the  river- 
side, and  the  Governor  hurried  a  bottle  with  a  paper  enclosed  on 
which  he  writ  that  he  took  possession  of  this  place  in  the  name 
and  for  King  Geo.  1st.  of  England.  We  had  a  good  dinner,  and 
after  it  we  got  the  men  together,  and  loaded  all  their  arms,  and 
we  drank  the  King's  health  in  champaign  and  fired  a  volley,  the 
Princess's  health  in  Burgundy  and  fired  a  volley,  and  in  claret 
and  fired  a  volley.  We  drank  the  Governor's  health  and  fired  an- 
other volley.  We  had  several  sorts  of  liquers',  viz.  Virginia  Eed 
Wine  and  White  Wine,  Esquebaugh,  brandy,  shrub,  rum,  cham- 
paign, cavory,  punch  water,  cider,  etc. 

"We  called  the  highest  mountain  Mount  George  and  the  one  we 
crossed  over  ]\Iount  Spotswood." 

Governor  Spotswood,  from  the  fertility  of  the  soil,  gave  the 
name  of  Euphrates  to  the  river  (now  Shenandoah),  and  he  be- 
lieved the  same  emptied  into  the  great  lakes  and  flowed  northward. 

The  Governor,  upon  his  return  to  Williamsburg,  instituted  the 
Order  of  the  Golden-Shoe,  and  presented  to  each  of  the  gentlemen 
accompanying  him  a  small  horse-shoe  made  of  gold  inscribed  with 
the  motto :  Sic  jurat  transcendere  monies,  "Thus  he  swears  to  cross 
the  mountains." 

Governor  Spotswood,  in  a  letter  written  in  1716,  says:  "The 
chief  aim  of  my  expedition  over  the  great  mountains  in  1716  was 
to  satisfy  myself  whether  it  was  practicable  to  come  to  the  lakes." 

The  country  thus  described  was  a  part  of  Sussex  county,  the 
western  boundary  of  which  was  undefined.  Spotsylvania  was 
formed  from  Sussex  in  1720,  Orange  from  Spotsylvania  in  1734, 
all  of  said  counties  including  the  territory  now  within  the  bounds 
of  this  county. 

All  this  information  is  necessary  to  a  history  of  Washington 
county,  because  Washington  county  was  formed  from  the  territory 
we  are  now  dealing  with,  and,  for  the  better  reason,  that  the  pro- 
moters of  our  early  settlements  and  the  founders  of  our  early  gov- 
ernment came  from  the  Valley  of  Virginia. 

In  the  year  1726,  two  men  named  Mackey  and  Sailings  explored 
the  Valley  of  Virginia. 

John  Peter   Sailings,  one  of  the  two  explorers  of  the  valley 

40  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

above  mentioned,  was  ca^jtured  by  the  Indians  and  passed  through 
this  immediate  section  as  early  as  1726. 

Withers,  in  his  history  entitled  "Border  Warfare/'  thus  de- 
scribes the  captivity  of  Sailings : 

"Sailings,"  he  says,  "was  taken  to  the  country  now  known  as 
Tennessee,  where  he  remained  for  some  years.  In  company  with 
a  party  of  Cherokees,  he  went  on  a  hunting  expedition  to  the  salt 
licks  of  Kentucky  and  was  there  captured  by  a  band  of  Illinois 
Indians,  with  Mdiom  the  Cherokees  were  at  war.  He  was  taken  to 
Kaskaskia,  and  adopted  into  the  family  of  a  squaw,  whose  son 
had  been  killed.  While  with  these  Indians  he  several  times  ac- 
companied them  down  the  Mississippi  river,  below  the  mouth  of 
the  Arkansas,  and  once  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico. 

The  Spaniards  in  Louisiana,  desiring  an  interpreter,  purchased 
him  of  his  Indian  mother,  and  some  of  them  took  him  to  Canada. 
He  was  there  redeemed  by  the  French  Governor  of  that  province, 
who  sent  him  to  the  Dutch  settlement  in  New  York,  whence  he 
made  his  way  home  after  an  absence  of  six  years. 

The  earliest  visit  to  this  section  of  Virginia  by  an  Anglo-Saxon 
of  which  we  have  any  record  or  knowledge  was  made  by  Dority,  a 
citizen  of  Eastern  Virginia,  who  in  the  year  1690  visited  the  Chero- 
kee Indians  in  their  home,  south  of  the  Little  Tennessee,  and 
traded  wdth  them.  There  can  be  no  reasonable  doubt  that  from 
a  very  early  period,  long  preceding  the  making  of  a  permanent 
settlement  by  the  wdiite  man  in  this  section,  many  of  the  citizens 
of  Virginia  living  east  of  the  mountains  carried  on,  in  many  in- 
stances, an  active  trade  with  the  Indians  living  south  of  the  Little 
Tennessee  and  in  Kentucky, 

This  section  was  uninhabitated  by  the  Indians  for  many  years 
previous  to  the  explorations  of  the  white  man,  and  the  wilderness 
was  full  of  game  of  almost  all  kinds.  Their  flesh  was  valuable, 
and  the  skins  and  furs  taken  in  one  season  by  a  single  hunter  would 
bring  many  hundreds  of  dollars,  and  thus  many  daring  hunters 
were  induced  to  visit  this  section  long  before  any  white  man  thought 
of  settling  the  lands. 

In  confirmation  of  this  idea  Mr.  Vaughan,  of  Amelia  county, 
Va.,  who  died  in  the  year  1801,  was  employed  about  the  year  1740 
to  go  as  a  packman  with  a  number  of  Indian  traders  to  the  Chero- 
kee nation. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17 Jf 6-17 86.  41 

The  last  hunter's  cabin  he  saw  as  he  traveled  from  Amelia 
county,  Va.,  to  East  Tennessee  was  on  Otter  river,  a  branch  of 
Staunton  river,  now  in  Bedford  county.  The  route  he  traveled 
was  an  old  trading  path  following  closely  the  location  of  the  Buck- 
ingham road  to  a  point  where  it  strikes  the  Stage  Eoad  in  Bote- 
tourt county;  thence  nearly  upon  the  ground  which  the  Stage 
Road  occupies,  crossing  ISTew  Eiver  at  Inglis'  Ferry;  thence  to 
Seven  Mile  Ford  on  the  Holston;  thence  to  the  left  of  the  road 
which  formed  the  old  Stage  Road;  thence  on  to  the  North  Fork 
of  Holston,  above  Long  Island  in  Tennessee,  crossing  it  where 
the  Stage  Road  formerly  crossed  it,  and  on  into  the  heart  of  Ten- 

This  hunter's  trail,  or  Indian  trace,  was  an  old  path  when  he 
first  saw  it,  and  he  continued  to  travel  the  same  until  1754,  trad- 
ing with  the  Indians. 

In  the  year  1730,  Jolm  and  Isaac  Van  Meter  obtained  from  Gov- 
ernor Gooch,  of  Virginia,  a  patent  for  forty  thousand  acres  of  land 
to  be  located  in  the  lower  valley,  and  this  warrant  was  sold  in  1731 
to  Joist  Hite,  of  Pennsylvania,  who,  in  1732,  brought  his  family 
and  sixteen  other  families  and  located  a  few  miles  soiith  of  the 
present  site  of  Winchester,  Va.,  and  this  is  generally  believed  to 
be  the  first  settlement  by  a  white  man  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge. 

Emigration  to  this  new  land  was  rapid,  and  soon  reached  beyond 
the  confines  of  Hite's  possessions. 

About  the  time  of  the  Hite  settlement  John  Lewis,  Peter  Sal- 
lings  and Mackey  made  settlements  in  the  valley.     Lewis 

settled  on  Lewis'  creek  near  the  present  site  of  Staunton,  Sailings, 
at  the  forks  of  James  river  and  Mackey,  at  Buffalo  Gap. 

Within  less  than  one  year  the  population  of  the  country  near 
the  settlement  made  by  Lewis  was  considerable,  so  rapid  was  the 
migration  to  the  new  land. 

The  early  settlers  in  this  portion  of  Virginia  had  to  contend 
with  titles  obtained  by  individuals  and  companies  for  large  tracts 
of  land,  and  such  grantees  were  usually  favorites  of  the  King  or 
of  the  King's  councillors. 

On  the  6th  of  September,  1736,  William  Gooch,  Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor of  Virginia,  issued  a  patent  for  the  "Manor  of  Beverly," 
covering  one  hundred  and  eighteen  thousand  and  ninety-one  acres 
of  land  lying  in  the  county  of  Orange  between  the  great  mountains 

42  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

and  on  the  River  Sherando,  and  on  September  7,  1736,  William 
Beverlj^^of  Essex,  became  the  owner  of  the  entire  grant.. 

This  patent  covered  most  of  the  fine  lands  in  the  Valley  of  Vir- 
ginia near  Staunton  and  Waynesboro,  and  soon  thereafter  Gov- 
ernor Gooch  granted  Benjamin  Borden -^tfe  hundred  thousand  acres 
of  land  situated  south  of  Beverly  Manor  and  on  the  waters  of  the 
James  and  Shenandoah  rivers. 

Each  of  the  grants  above  described  was  to  become  absolute,  pro- 
vided the  patentees  succeeded  in  settling  a  given  number  of  families 
thereon  in  the  time  named  in  the  grant,  and  as  a  result  the  paten- 
tees, Hite,  Beverly  and  Borden,  solicited  and  obtained  settlers 
from  America  and  Europe. 

Benjamin  Borden,  upon  the  receipt  of  his  grant,  immediately 
visited  England,  and  in  1737  returned  with  a  hundred  families, 
among  whom  were  the  McDowells,  Crawfords,  MeClures,  Alex- 
anders, Walkers,  Moores,  Matthews  and  many  others,  the  found- 
ers of  many  of  Virginia's  distinguished  families. 

In  1738,  the  counties  of  Frederick  and  Augusta  were  formed  out 
of  Orange.  The  territories  embraced  within  these  two  counties  in- 
cluded all  of  Virginia  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  and  was,  almost  with- 
out exception,  a  howling  wilderness  occupied  by  the  Indians  and 
wild  beasts.  It  is  evident  from  the  statement  contained  in  the  act 
establishing  Augusta  county  that  there  had  been  a  rapid  and  con- 
siderable increase  of  the  population  in  the  valley. 

The  act  establishing  the  county  of  Augusta  provided  that  the 
organization  of  the  county  should  take  place  when  the  Governor 
and  Council  should  think  there  was  a  sufficient  number  of  inhabi- 
tants for  appointing  jiistices  of  the  peace  and  other  officers  and 
creating  courts  therein. 

While  the  act  establishing  Augusta  county  was  passed  in  1738, 
the  county  was  not  organized  until  1745.  The  first  court  assem- 
bled at  Staunton  on  December  9,  1745,  at  which  time  the  following 
magistrates  were  sworn  in,  having  been  previously  commissioned y 
by  the  Governor  of  Virginia — viz. :  James  Patton^,  John  Buchanan, 
George  Robinson,  James  Bell,  Robert  Campbell,  John  Lewis,  John 
Brown,  Peter  Scholl,  Robert  Poa^^,  John  Findley,  Richard  Woods, 
John  Christian,  Robert  Craven,  John  Pickens,  Andrew  Pickens,"" 
Thomas  Lewis,.  Hugh  Thompson,  John  Anderson,''  Robert  Cun- 
ningham, James  Kerr  and  Adam  Dickenson. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  43 

James  Patton  was  commissioned  high  sheriff,  John  Madison, 
clerk,  and  Thomas  Lewis,  surveyor  of  the  county. 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that  James  Patton,  the  first  sheriff  of  Au- 
gusta county,  was  the  first  man  to  survey  and  locate  lands  within 
the  boundaries  of  Washington  county  as  originally  formed,  and  the 
land  by  him  acquired  composed  a  considerable  part  of  the  best  lands 
within  this  county. 

The  idea  of  offering  the  dissenters  from  the  Church  of  England 
inducements  to  settle  the  lands  west  of  the  mountains  had  often 
1:)een  suggested  and  earnestly  advocated  by  many  of  the  promi- 
nent men  in  the  Virginia  Colony,  but  no  move  in  that  direction 
was  taken  until  about  the  time  of  the  first  settlement  o.f  the  lower 
Valley,  at  and  after  which  time  the  Governoa-  and  Council  of  Vir- 
ginia, with  but  little  hesitancy,  permitted  the  erection  of  dissenting 
churches  in  the  Valley,  and  encouraged  the  immigration  of  settlers 
whenever  possible. 

The  result  of  this  action  was  a  flood  of  settlers,  emigrants  froan 
Scotland  and  Ireland,  who  came  by  way  of  Pennsylvania,  mostly 
Scotch-Irish  Presbyterians  in  belief.  They  passed  into  and  settled 
in  the  Valley,  and  in  a  few  years  the  Valley  from  Harper's  Ferry 
to  ISTew  river  was  populated  with  a  progressive,  liberty-loving  peo- 
ple second  to  none  on  earth. 

Colonel  James  Patton,  who  came  from  the  north  of  Ireland  in 
1736,  was  one  of  the  first  and  most  influ-cntial  settlers  of  the  Val- 
ley of  Virginia. 

In  the  year  1745,  he  secured  a  grant  from  the  Governor  and 
Council  of  Virginia,  for  one  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  acres 
of  land  west  of  the  Blue  Eidge,  and  he  and  his  son-in-law,  John 
Buchanan,  who  was  also  deputy  surveyor  of  Augusta  county,  lo- 
cated lands  on  the  James  river,  and  founded  and  named  Buchanan 
and  Pattonsburg,  villages  that  were  built  on  the  opposite  sides  of 
the  James  river,  now  in  Botetourt  county. 

In  the  year  1748,  Dr.  Thomas  Walker,  who  afterwards,  on  the 
39th  day  of  September,  1752,  qualified  as  a  deputy  surveyor  of 
Augusta  county;  Colonel  James  Patton,  Colonel_Jqhn  Buchanan, 
Colonel  James  Wood  and  Major  Charles  Campbell,  accompanied 
by  a  number  of  hunters,  John  Findlay  being  of  the  number,  ex- 
plored Southwest  Virginia  and  East  Tennessee,  and  located  and 

44  Southwest  Virgmia,  17Ji6-17SG. 

surveyed  ;i  miiiil)er  of  very  v;iliial)l(!  tracts  of  land  by  authority  of 
the  grant  to  Colonel  James  Patton. 

We  give  below  a  list  of  the  first  surveys  made  on  the  waters  of 
the  Holston  and  Clinch  rivers. 

This  information  i«  derived  from  the  surveyor's  recorcTs 
of  Augusta  county  at  Staunton,  Va.  Each  of  the  above  surveys 
is  signed  by  Thomas  Lewis,  surveyor  of  Augusta  county,  and  in 
the  left-hand  corner  of  the  plot,  recorded  with  each  survey,  are 
w^ritten  the  letters  J.  B.,  the  initials  of  John  Buchanan,  deputy 
snryeyor  of  the  county. 

Tt  is  evident  from  this  rc>eord  that  John  Buchanan  surveyed  the 
rseveral  tnicts  of  land  first  located  in  Washington  county,  and  that 
he  was  on  the  waters  of  the  Indian  or  Holston  river  surveying  as 
early  as  the  14th  day  of  March,  174(5. 

It  will  be  observed  from  an  inspection  of  this  list  of  surveys 
that  on  April  2,  1750,  there  was  surveyed  for  Edmund  Pendleton 
3,000  acres  of  land  lying  on  AVest  creek,  a  branch  of  the  South 
Fork  of  Indian  river,  which  tract  of  la,nd  now  lies  in  Sullivan 
county,  'I'ennessee. 

'^^riiis  ti'act  was  patented  to  Edmund  Pendleton  in  1756  ujjon  the 
idea  that  the  Virginia  line,  Avhen  run,  Avould  embrace  these  lands. 

]t  is  \\(n-thy  of  note  (hat  these  early  explorers  and  the  many 
hunters  and  traders  who  had  previously  visited  this  section  called 
the  Holston  river  the  Indian  river,  while  the  Indians  gave  it  the 
name  of  Hogoheegee,  and  the  French  gave  it  the  name  of  the 
Cherokee  river. 

All  of  the  lands  surveyed  in  this  county  previously  to  1,748  are 
described  in  the  surveys  as  being  on  the  waters  of  the  Indian  river. 
These  explorers  returned  to  their  homes  delighted,  no  doubt,  with 
the  excellent  lands  they  had  visited,  but  nothing  resulted  from  their 
efforts  save  the  acquisition  of  a  knowledge  of  the  country. 

At  the  time  Dr.  Walker  and  his  associates  made  their  trip  of 
exploration  above  described  they  were  followed  as  far  as  New  river 
by  Thomas  Inglis  and  his  three  sons,  Mrs.  Draper  and  her  son  and 
daughter,  Adam  Harman,  Henry  Leonard  and  James  Burke,  pio- 
neers in  search  of  a  home  in  the  wilderness.  Lands  were  surveyed 
for  each  of  them,  which  lands  are  described  in  the  respective  sur- 
veys as  lying  on  Wood's  river,  or  the  waters  of  Wood's  river.    Here 

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46  Southwest  Virginia,  17Ji.6-1786. 

they  made  a  settlement,  the  first  west  of  the  Alleghany  divide  and 
the  first  on  Wood's  or  New  river. 

The  name  given  to  this  new  settlement  was  "Draper's  Meadows." 

The  surveys,  with  accompanying  plats  for  these,  the  first  set- 
tlers on  any  of  the  waters  flowing  into  the  Mississippi,  are  exceed- 
ingly interesting  and  instructive. 

These  first  settlers  were  immediately  followed  by  a  large  num- 
ber of  other  persons. 

The  Alleghany  mountains  having  been  crossed  and  the  waters 
flowing  into  the  Mississippi  reached,  the  pioneer  rapidly  sought  to 
bring  the  wilderness  under  his  dominion.  The  first  company  of 
settlers  at  Draper's  Meadows  were  at  once  increased  by  new  ar- 
rivals, and  numerous  tracts  of  land  west  of  ISTew  river  and  near 
what  were  afterwards  known  as  the  Lead  Mines  occupied.  Among 
the  early  settlers  in  that  section  of  Southwest  Virginia  were  the 
Crocketts,  Sayers,  Cioyds,  McGavocks  and  McCalls. 

James  Burke,  with  his  family,  settled  in  1753  in  what  has  since 
been  known  as  Burk's  Garden,  and  Charles  Sinclair  in  Sinclair's 
Bottom.  Stephen  Holston  built  his  cabin  within  thirty  feet  of  the 
head  spring  of  the  Middle  Fork  of  Indian,  since  called  Holston 
river,  some  time  previous  to  174'8,  and  thus  Burke,  Sinclair  and 
Holston  gave  names  to  the  localities  of  their  early  settlements. 

A  colony  of  people  called  "Dunkards"  settled  on  the  west  side  of 
New  river  near  Inglis'  Ferry,  and  in  the  year  1750  Samuel  Stal- 
naker,  with  the  assistance  of  Dr.  Walker  and  his  associates,  erected 
his  cabin  on  the  Holston  nine  miles  west  of  Stephen  Holston's 

It  is  worthy  of  mention  in  this  place  that  in  this  year,  1749, 
the  commissioners  appointed  by  the  Legislatures  of  Virginia  and 
North  Carolina  continued  the  boundary  line  between  Virginia 
and  North  Carolina  to  a  point  on  Steep  Eock  Creek,*  in  this  county. 

Dr.  Walker  and  his  associates  had  met  Samuel  Stalnaker  on  the 
waters  of  the  Holston  in  April,  1748,  between  the  Eeedy  Creek 
settlement  and  the  Holston  river,  at  which  time  it  is  evident,  from 
a  journal  kept  by  Dr.  Walker,  that  Stalnaker  told  Walker  and  his 
associates  of  the  Cumberland  Gap,  and  made  an  engagement  with 
Dr.  Walker  to  pilot  him  upon  a  trip  to  Kentucky  at  a  subsequent 

*Now  Laurel  Fork  of  Holston  river. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  47 

The  French  had  established  settlements  on  the  waters  of  the 
Ohio  and  Mississippi  rivers,  and  claimed,  by  right  of  discovery 
and  occupancy,  as  territory  belonging  to  the  French  crown,  all 
the  lands  west  of  the  Alleghany  mountains,  and  were  actively  as- 
serting their  right  to  all  of  this  territory  at  all  times  and  by  every 
possible  means.  It  is  claimed  that  the  French  had  established  a 
fort  near  the  Broad  Ford  of  the  Tennessee  river,  and  had  opened 
and  operated  mines  in  the  territory  now  included  in  Eastern  Ken- 
tucky; and  it  is  well  Icnown  that  the  French  traders  were  to  be 
found  in  nearly  all  of  the  Indian  villages  east  of  the  Mississippi 
river  and  west  of  the  Alleghany  mountains. 

The  English  Government  and  the  American  Colonies  denied  the 
pretensions  of  the  French  crown,  and  looked  with  jealousy  upon 
every  movement  made  by  France  in  the  direction  of  the  accom- 
plishment of  her  claim. 

As  a  result,  on  the  12th  day  of  July,  1749,  the  Governor  and 
Council  of  Virginia  granted  to  the  "Ohio  Company"  500,000  acres 
of  land,  to  be  surveyed  and  located  south  of  the  Ohio  river,  and 
to  forty-six  gentlemen,  styling  themselves  the  "Loyal  Company," 
leave  to  take  up  and  survey  800,000  acres  of  land  in  one  or  more 
surveys,  beginning  on  the  bounds  between  this  State  and  North 
Carolina  and  running  to  the  westward  and  to  the  north  seas  to 
include  the  said  quantity,  with  four  years'  time  to  locate  said  land 
and  make  return  of  surveys. 

The  "Ohio  Company"  employed  Christopher  Gist,  one  of  the 
most  noted  surveyors  of  that  time,  to  go,  as  soon  as  possible,  to  the 
westward  of  the  Great  Mountains,  and  to  carry  with  him  such  a 
number  of  men  as  he  thought  necessary,  in  order  to  search  out  and 
discover  the  lands  upon  the  river  Ohio  and  other  adjoining  branches 
of  the  Mississippi,  down  as  low  as  the  Great  Falls  thereof,  now 
Louisville,  Kentucky. 

He  was  also  directed  to  observe  the  passes  through  the  mountains, 
to  take  an  exact  account  of  the  soil  and  products  of  the  lands,  the 
width  and  depth  of  the  rivers,  the  falls  belonging  to  them,  the 
course  and  bearings  of  the  rivers  and  mountains,  and  to  ascertain 
what  Indians  inhabitated  them,  with  their  strength  and  numbers. 

Pursuant  to  his  instructions,  he  set  out  from  the  old  town  on 
the  Potomac  river,  in  Maryland,  in  October,  1750,  and  spent  many 
days  on  the  lands  south  of  the  Ohio  river,  in  the  present  State 

48  Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786. 

of  Kentucky;  he  finall_y  came  to  the  Cumberland  mountains  at 
Pound  (lap,  at  which  gap  he  crossed  and  passed  down  Gist's  river 
to  Powell's  and  Clinch  valleys.  On  Tuesday,  the  7tli  day  of  May, 
1751,  he  came  to"New  river  and  crossed  the  same  about  eight  miles 
above  the  mouth  of  Bluestone  river.  On  Saturday,  the  11th,  he 
came  to  a  very  high  mountain,  upon  the  top  of  which  was  a  lake 
or  pond  about  three-fourths  of  a  mile  long  northeast  and  south- 
west, and  one-fourth  of  a  mile  wide,  the  water  fresh  and  clear, 
its  borders  a  clean  gravelly  shore  about  ten  yards  wide,  and  a  fine 
meadow  with  six  fine  springs  in  it. 

From  this  description  it  is  evident  that  Gist  visited  Salt  Lake 
mountain,  in  Giles  county,  Va.,  as  early  as  1751,  and  found  the 
lake  as  it  now  is. 

It  is  evident  from  this  journal  that  the  traditions  that  we 
so  often  hear  repeated  about  this  lake  are  nothing  more  than  mythi- 
cal, and  that  this  lake  existed  as  it  now  is  at  the  time  of  the  earliest 
explorations  of  the  white  man.  Colonel  Gist  then  passed  south 
about  four  miles  to  Sinking  Creek  and  on  to  the  settlements. 

In  the  meantime  the  "Loyal  Companj'^'  were  not  idle,  but,  hav- 
ing employed  Dr.  Thomas  Walker  for  a  certain  consideration, 
sent  him  on  the  12th  day  of  December,  1749,  in  company  with 
Ambrose  Powell,  William  Tomlinson,  Henry  Lawless  and  John 
Hughes,  to  the  westward  in  order  to  discover  a  proper  place  for  a 
settlement.  A  journal  of  this  trip  will  be  found  in  the  Appendix 
to  this  work,  and  the  reader  will  find  a  perusal  of  this  journal  ex- 
ceedingly interesting,  as  Dr.  Walker  and  his  associates  passed  di- 
rectly through  what  might  reasonably  be  termed  the  centre  of 
Washington  county. 

It  will  be  necessary,  in  speaking  of  this  journal  of  Dr.  Walker's, 
to  call  the  reader's  attention  to  only  a  few  incidents  connected 
with  the  trip,  which  we  will  do  as  briefly  as  possible. 

On  March  15,  1750,  they  came  to  the  "Great  Lick,"  now  the 
present  site  of  the  city  of  Eoanoke,  Va.,  at  which  place  they 
bought  corn  of  Michael  Campbell  for  their  horses,  at  which  time 
Dr.  Walker  remarks:  "This  Lick  has  been  one  of  the  best  places 
for  game  in  these  parts,  and  M^ould  have  been  of  much  greater 
advantage  to  the  inhabitants  than  it  has  been  if  the  hunters  had 
not  killed  the  buffaloes  for  diversion  and  the  elks  and  deer  for 
their  skins," 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  49 

It  has  been  the  prevailing  opinion  that  there  were  no  bniialoes 
east  of  the  Blue  Eidge,  and  while  the  Great  Lick,  or  Eoanoke 
City,  is  west  of  the  Blue  Eidge,  it  is  altogether  probable  that  buf- 
faloes in  their  range  did  oftentimes  travel  beyond  the  mountains; 
at  any  rate  it  is  known  that  Colonel  Byrd  killed  buffaloes  in  1739 
on  the  boundary  line  between  Virginia  and  North  Carolina  and 
south  of  Eoanoke. 

They  thence  went  up  the  Staunton  river,  now  -called  the  Little 
Eoanoke  river,  to  William  Inglis'.  Dr.  Walker,  at  this  point, 
notes  the  fact  that  William  Inglis  had  a  mill  which  is  the  fur- 
thest back,  except  one  lately  built  by  the  sect  of  people  who  called 
themselves  of  the  Brotherhood  of  Euphrates,  or  "Duncards,"  who 
are  the  upper  inhabitants  of  the  New  river  and  lived  on  the  west 
side  of  the  same. 

It  is  well  to  note  at  this  point  that  the  present  village  of  Blacks- 
burg  is  near  the  locality  occupied  by  William  Inglis  in  1750.  The 
Dunkards  spoken  of  by  Dr.  Walker  lived  on  the  west  side  of  New 
river  opposite  Inglis'  Ferry,  several  miles  above  the  crossing  of 
the  Norfolk  and  Western  railroad.  Their  next  stopping  point  was 
on  a  small  run  between  Peak  Creek  and  Eeed  Creek,  or  between 
Pulaski  city  and  Max  Meadows  of  the  present  day.  They  next 
camped  near  James  McCall's  on  Eeed  Creek,  and  on  the  22d  of 
March  they  reached  a  large  spring  about  five  miles  below  Davis' 
Bottom,  on  the  Middle  Fork  of  Holston  river,  where  they  camped; 
they  moved  thence  down  the  Middle  Fork  of  Holston,  where  they 
again  camped,  and  Ambrose  Powell  and  Dr.  Walker  went  to  look 
for  Samuel  Stalnaker  and  found  his  camp,  he  having  just  moved  out 
to  settle.  They  assisted  Stalnaker  in  building  his  house,  and  spent 
the  Sabbath  about  one-half  a  mile  below  him.  On  Monday,  the 
36th,  they  left  the  frontiers  of  civilization,  Stalnaker's  settlement 
being  the  farthest  west  at  that  time.  Their  trip  was  not  eventful 
until  the  30th,  on  which  day  they  caught  two  young  buffaloes,  and 
on  the  31st  they  traveled  down  the  Eeedy  creek  to  the  Holston 
river  at  the  foot  of  Long  Island,  where  they  measured  an  elm 
tree  twenty-five  feet  in  circumference  three  feet  from  the  ground. 
They  crossed  the  North  Fork  of  the  Holston  about  one-half  a 
mile  above  the  junction  of  the  North  and  South  Fork  rivers  at 
a  ford.  At  this  point  they  discovered  evidences  of  Indians.  They 
found,  in  the  fork  between  the  North  and  South  Forks  of  Holston 

50  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

river,  five  Indian  houses  built  with  logs  and  covered  with  bark, 
around  which  there  were  an  abundance  of  bones  and  many  pieces 
of  mats  and  cloth.  On  the  west  side  of  the  North  Fork  of  Hol- 
ston  river  they  foimd  four  Indian  houses,  and  four  miles  south- 
west of  the  junction  of  the  North  and  South  Forks  of  Holston 
river  they  discovered  an  Indian  fort  on  the  south  side  of  the  main 
Holston  river. 

On  April  2d  they  left  the  Holston  river  and  traveled  in  a  north- 
west direction  toward  Cumberland  Gap,  passing  over  Clinch  moun- 
tain at  Loony's.  Gap,  it  is  thought.  They  reached  the  Clinch  river 
above  the  present  location  of  Sneedsville,  in  Hancock  county,  Ten- 
nessee, and  on  the  12th  day  of  April  they  reached  Powell's  river, 
ten  miles  from  Cumberland  Gap.  It  is  well  to  note  at  this  point 
that  Ambrose  Powell,  one  of  Dr.  Walker's  companions,  cut  his 
name  upon  a  tree  on  the  bank  of  this  river,  which  name  and  tree 
were  found  in  the  year  1770  by  a  party  of  fifteen  or  twenty  Vir- 
ginians on  their  way  to  Kentucky  on  a  hunting  expedition,  from 
which  circumstance  the  Virginia  Long  Hunters  gave  it  the  name 
of  Powell's  river,  which  name  it  still  retains.  On  the  13th  they 
reached  Cumberland  Gap,  which  gap  Dr.  Walker  afterwards  named 
Cumberland  Gap  in  honor  of  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  the  son 
of  George  II,  and  the  commander  of  the  English  forces,  on  the 
16th  of  April,  1746,  at  Culloden,  where  he  defeated,  with  great 
slaughter,  the  Highland  forces,  refusing  quarter  to  the  wounded 

On  the  17th  of  April  he  reached  the  Cumberland  river  and 
named  it  at  that  time.  On  the  23d  a  part  of  this  company  was 
left  to  build  a  house  and  plant  some  peach  stones  and  corn.  On 
the  28th  Dr.  Walker  returned  to  his  company  and  found  that 
they  had  built  a  house  12x8  feet,  cleared  and  broken  up  some 
ground  and  planted  corn  and  peach  stones. 

This  was  the  first  house  built  by  an  Anglo-Saxon  in  the  State 
of  Kentucky,  and  it  was  used  and  occupied  as  late  as  1835.  The 
location  of  this  house  is  on  the  farm  of  George  M.  Faulkner,  about 
four  miles  below  Barboursville,  Ky.  They  thence  traveled  in  a 
northeast  direction,  crossing  Kentucky  river  and  New  river  and 
striking  the  waters  of  the  Greenbrier,  and  on  the  13th  day  of 
July  Dr.  Walker  reached  his  home.  On  this  journey  they  killed 
thirteen  buffaloes,  eight  elks,  fifty-three  bears,  twenty  deer,  four 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  51 

wild  geese  and  about  a  hundred  and  fifty  turkeys,  and  could  have 
killed  three  times  as  much  meat  if  they  had  wanted  it. 

It  is  to  be  recollected  that  this  trip  and  the  building  of  the  cabin 
in  the  wilderness  of  Kentucky  was  all  in  the  interest  of  the  "Loyal 

i\.bout  this  time  the  "Ohio  Company"  entered  a  caveat  against 
the  "Loyal  Company,"  and  the  Lo3/al  Company  got  into  a  dispute 
with  Colonel  James  Patton,  who  had  an  unfinished  grant  below 
where  this  company  were  to  begin,  and  no  further  progress  was 
made  by  the  company  until  June  14,  1753. 

In  the  year  1748,  Mr.  Gray,  Mr.  Ashford  Hughes  and  others 
obtained  a  grant  from  the  Governor  and  Council  for  10,000  acres 
of  land  lying  on  the  waters  of  the  New  river,  which  grant  was 
soon  afterwards  assigned  to  , Peter  Jeiferson  (father  of  Thomas 
Jefferson),  Dr.  Thomas  Walker,  Thomas  Merriweather  and  David 
Merriweather,  which  lands  were  surveyed  and  principally  settled 
in  the  early  days  of  the  settlement  of  this  section. 

About  the  same  time  the  Governor  and  the  Council  of  Virginia 
granted  to  John  Lewis,  of  Augusta,  and  his  associates  100,000 
acres  of  land  to  be  located  on  the  Greenbrier  river,  and  thus  the 
English  Government  sought  to  displace  the  French  in  their  efforts 
to  settle  and  hold  the  lands  west  of  the  Alleghany  mountains. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  movements  of  the  English  were  closely 
watched  by  the  French,  who  were  equally  determined  to  defeat 
them  in  their  aspirations.  A  company  of  French  soldiers  in  1752 
were  sent  south  as  far  as  the  Miami  river  to  notify  the  English 
traders  among  the  Indians  to  leave  the  country,  which  they  re- 
fused to  do,  and  thereupon  a  fight  ensued  between  the  French  and 
Indians,  in  which  fourteen  Miami  Indians  were  killed  and  four 
white  prisoners  were  taken,  and  thus  began  the  contest  which  re- 
sulted in  the  loss  to  France  of  all  her  possessions  in  Canada  and 
east  of  the  Mississippi  river. 

In  April  of  the  year  1749,  the  house  of  Adam  Harmon,  one  of 
the  first  settlers  near  Inglis'  Ferry,  on  New  river,  was  visited  by 
the  Indians,  and  his  fuis  and  skins  stolen. 

*This  was  the  first  Indian  depredation  committed  on  the  white 
settlers  west  of  the  Alleghany  mountains. 

In  the  month  of  November,  1753,  the  House  of  Burgesses  of 

^Dr.  Hale's  "Trans-Alleghany  Pioneers. 

52  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

Virginia  passed  an  act  for  the  further  encouraging  of  persons  to 
settle  on  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi,  which  act  we  here  copy  in 
full : 

1.  Whereas,  it  will  be  the  means  of  cultivating  a  better  cor- 
respondence with  the  neighboring  Indians  if  a  farther  encour- 
ageinent  be  given  to  persons  who  have  settled  on  the  waters  of 
the  Mississippi,  in  the  county  of  Augusta;  and,  whereas,  a  con- 
siderable number  of  persons,  as  well  his  majesty's  natural  born  sub- 
jects as  foreign  Protestants,  are  willing  to  come  into  this  Colony 
with  their  families  and  effects  and  settle  upon  the  lands  near  the 
said  waters  in  case  they  can  have  encouragement  for  so  doing;  and, 
whereas,  the  settling  of  that  part  of  the  country  will  add  to  the 
security  and  strength  of  the  Colony  in  general  and  be  a  means  of 
augmenting  his  majesty's  revenue  of  quit  rents ; 

2.  Be  it  therefore  enacted  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor,  Council 
and  Burgesses  of  this  present  General  Assembly,  and  it  is  hereby 
enacted  by  the  authority  of  the  same.  That  all  persons  being  Prot- 
estants who  have  already  settled  or  shall  hereafter  settle  and  reside 
on  any  lands  situated  to  the  westward  of  the  ridge  of  mountains 
that  divide  the  rivers  Eoanoke,  James  and  Potowmack,  from  the 
Mississippi  in  the  county  of  Augusta,  shall  be  and  are  exempted 
and  discharged  from  the  payment  of  all  public  county  and  parish 
levies  for  the  term  of  fifteen  years  next  following,  any  law,  usage, 
or  custom  to  the  contrary  thereof,  in  any  wise  notwithstanding.* 

The  English  Government  were  exceedingly  anxious  to  encourage 
the  settlements  on  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi  and  thereby 
strengthen  their  frontiers  and  fortify  their  claim  to  the  lands  lying 
west  of  the  Alleghany  mountains,  and,  in  keeping  with  this  desire, 
the  Governor  and  Council  of  Virginia,  on  June  14,  1753,  renewed 
the  grant  to  the  "Loyal  Company"  and  allowed  them  four  years' 
farther  time  to  complete  the  surveying  and  seating  of  said  land,  and 
on  the  6th  day  of  July  following  Dr.  Thomas  Walker,  their  agent, 
proceeded  with  all  convenient  speed  to  survey  said  land  and  to  sell 
the  same  to  purchasers  at  three  pounds  per  hundred  acres,  exclu- 
sive of  fees  and  rights.  The  basis  of  the  operations  of  Dr.  Walker 
was  in  Southwest  Virginia,  and  by  the  end  of  the  year  1754  he  had 
surveyed  and  sold  224  separate  tracts  of  land  containing  45,249 
acres,  which  surveys  were  made  in  the  name  of  the  several  pur- 

*Hen.  S.,  p.  356.  , 

Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786.  53 

chasers  from  him,  and  many  of  the  said  tracts  of  land  were  actually 
occupied  by  settlers. 

During  this  time  James  Patton  was  actively  at  work  surveying 
and  selling  lands  to  settlers  under  his  grant  from  the  Governor  and 
Council,  and  the  tide  of  emigration  was  fast  settling  towards  South- 
west Virginia,  when  the  French-Indian  war  of  1754-1763  came  on, 
which  war  began  in  all  its  fury  about  this  time,  and  thereby  Dr. 
Walker,  agent  for  the  "Loyal  Company,"  and  James  Patton  and 
others  were  prevented,  for  the  time  being,  from  further  prosecuting 
their  enterprises  in  surveying  and  settling  this  portion  of  Virginia. 

In  the  spring  of  1754,  numbers  of  families  were  obliged,  by  an 
Indian  invasion,  to  remove  from  their  settlements  in  Southwest 
Virginia,  and  these  removals  continued  during  the  entire  war.  It 
will  be  well  here  to  note  the  fact  that  the  lands  held  by  Stephen 
Holston,  James  ]\IcCall,  Charles  Sinclair  and  James  Burke,  the 
earlier  settlers  of  this  portion  of  Virginia,  were  held  by  them  under 
what  were  known  at  that  time  as  "corn  rights — that  is,  under  the 
law  as  it  then  stood,  each  settler  acquired  title  to  a  hundred  acres 
for  every  acre  planted  by  him  in  corn,  but  subsequent  settlers,  as 
a  general  rule,  held  their  lands  under  one  of  the  above-mentioned 
grants.  Stephen  Holston,  who  settled  at  the  head  spring  of  the 
Middle  Fork  of  Holston  some  time  prior  to  1748,  did  not  remain 
long  at  this  place,  but  sold  his  right  to  James  Davis,  who,  on  the 
19th  of  March,  1748,  had  John  Buchanan,  deputy  surveyor  of 
Augusta  county,  to  survey  for  him  at  this  point  a  tract  of  land  con- 
taining 1,300  acres,  to  which  he  gave  the  name  of  "Davis'  Fancy," 
and  the  descendants  of  James  Davis  occupy  a  portion  of  this  land 
to  this  day. 

Stephen  Holston,  when  he  had  disposed  of  his  rights  to  Davis, 
constructed  canoes,  passed  down  the  Holston,  Tennessee  and  Mis- 
sissippi rivers  to  Natchez,  Mississippi,  and  thence  returned  to  Vir- 
ginia, and  settled  in  Culpeper  county,  where  he  lived  in  1754;  af- 
terwards, in  1757,  he  was  captured  by  the  Indians,  but,  making 
his  escape,  he  returned  to  the  waters  of  the  Holston,  and  served 
under  Colonel  Christian  upon  the  expedition  to  Point  Pleasant  in 
1774,  and  in  the  expedition  against  the  Cherokees  in  1776.  Many 
of  his  descendants  are  to  be  found  in  East  Tennessee  at  this  time. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  year  1753  two  families  resided  on  Back 
creek;  James  Eeed,  at  Dublin,  Va.    (from  whom  Eeed  creek  de- 

54  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

rived  its  name);  two  families  on  Cripple  creek;  James  Burk,  in 
Burk's  Garden;  Joseph  and  Esther  Crockett,  at  the  head  waters 
of  the  South  Fork  of  Holston  river;  James  Davis,  at  the  head 
waters  of  the  Middle  Fork  of  Holston  river,  and  a  family  of  Dimk- 
ards,  by  the  name  of  McCorkle,  on  the  west  bank  of  New  river 
near  Inglis'  Ferry.  Of  these  facts  we  have  record  evidence. 
Many  other  families  resided  west  of  New  river,  of  whom  we  have 
no  record. 

And  thus  closes  the  record  of  the  first  efforts  made  to  explore 
and  settle  Southwest  Virginia  by  the  white  man. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-17S6.  55 


Southwest  Virginia. 

1754-1770.  Thus  matters  stood  at  the  beginning  of  the  year 
1754.  Governor  Dinwiddie,  in  this  year,  dispatched  George  Wash- 
ington on  a  mission  to  the  French  commander  on  the  Ohio. 
Washington,  accompanied  by  Christopher  Gist,  arrived  at  the 
French  headquarters,  which  were  situated  near  the  present  city 
of  Pittsburg,  Pennsylvania,  where  he  delivered  the  dispatches 
from  Governor  Dinwiddie,  informing  the  French  commander  that 
war  was  inevitable  unless  he  immediately  withdrew  from  the  coun- 

The  French  commander  denied  the  right  of  Governor  Dinwiddie 
to  give  him  orders  in  the  premises,  and  declared  his  purpose  to 
destroy  every  settlement  made  by  the  Virginians  in  the  west. 

To  form  some  idea  of  the  spirit  of  the  American  colonies  in  re- 
gard to  the  French  settlements  on  the  Ohio  and  their  apprehen- 
sions therefrom.  Governor  Dinwiddie  wrote  to  Earl  Granville,  in 
1754,  that  the  French  intended  to  build  forts,  not  only  on  the  Ohio, 
but  on  Greenbrier,  Holston  and  New  rivers,  and  the  French  and 
Indians,  he  says,  are  now  making  incursions  among  our  inhabi- 
tants in  Augusta  coimty,  driving  them  from  their  homes. 

Washington  returned  to  Williamsburg  and  reported  the  result 
of  his  trip,  whereupon  the  Governor  of  Virginia  proceeded  to  raise 
a  regiment  under  Colonel  Joshua  Fry  and  Lieutenant- Colonel 
George  Washington.  This  regiment  immediately  proceeded  to  the 
west,  and  at  Eedstone,  Western  Pennsylvania,  they  encountered 
a  force,  composed  of  Indians  and  French,  which  they  attacked,  kill- 
ing ten  and  capturing  the  rest. 

They  proceeded  to  the  Great  Meadows,  halted,  and  built  a  fort, 
to  which  they  gave  the  name  of  "Fort  Necessity."  On  the  3d  day 
of  July,  1754,  a  force  of  French  and  Indians,  numbering  about  a 
thousand,  under  the  command  of  Count  de  Villiers,  vigorously 
assaulted  the  fort  and  attempted  to  take  it.  The  siege  lasted  for 
nine  hours,  at  the  end  of  which  time  the  French  leader  sent  in  a 
flag  of  truce  offering  to  receive  the  surrender  of  the  fort  upon  hon- 

5G  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

orable  terms,  wliicli  offer  was  accepted,  and  the  Virginians  marched 
out  next  morning. 

In  the  spring  of  1755,  the  American  colonies  attacked  the  French 
at  Nova  Scotia,  Crown  Point,  Niagara  and  on  the  Ohio  river. 

The  attack  on  the  French  and  Indians  on  the  Ohio  was  com- 
manded by  General  Braddock,  who  had  arrived  from  England 
early  in  tliat  year  with  two  royal  regiments — the  Eighteenth  and 
Forty-fourth.  Virginia  sent  800  men  to  join  Braddock,  and  the 
Virginia  troops  were  commanded  by  Captains  Waggoner,  Cock, 
Hogg,  Stevens,  Poulson,  Perrony,  Mercer  and  Stewart.  Brad- 
dock marched  from  Alexandria,  Virginia,  on  the  30th  of  April, 
1755,  with  2,200  men,  and  on  the  9th  of  July  he  reached  the 
Monongahela  river,  where  his  troops  fell  into  an  ambuscade. 
Braddock  was  mortally  wounded,  and  his  army  put  to  flight,  with 
a  loss  of  777  men  killed  and  wounded,  and  had  it  not  been  for  the 
coolness  and  courage  of  Washington  and  his  Virginia  troops  the 
entire  army  would  have  been  destroyed. 

The  army  retreated  a  himdred  and  twenty  miles  into  the  set- 
tlement, and  the  whole  frontier  of  Western  Virginia  was  thus  left 
open  to  the  ravages  of  the  French  and  Indians.  The  French  and 
Indians  crossed  the  Alleghany  mountains  into  the  valley  and  to 
New  river,  killing  and  scalping,  in  the  most  horrible  manner, 
men,  women,  and  children  without  distinction,  and  thus  ended 
the  first  year  of  the  war. 

On  the  21st  day  of  March,  1755,  the  County  Court  of  Augusta 
county  appointed  George  Stalnaker  constable  on  the  waters  of  the 
Holston  and  New  rivers,  and  he  built  a  stockade  fort  at  Dunk- 
ards'  Bottom,  the  name  of  which  was,  according  to  some  writers. 
Fort  Frederick,  but  there  is  some  doubt  about  it. 

In  the  month  of  February,  1755,  William  Wright,  an  ensign, 
who  was  stationed  at  Fort  Lewis,  near  Salem,  Virginia,  by  Major 
Andrew  Lewis,  accompanied  by  twenty  men,  marched  to  the  head 
waters  of  the  Holston  river  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  the  set- 
tlers, but  his  movements  were  so  slow  that  he  failed  to  accomplish 
anything,  and,  upon  his  return,  he  was  reprimanded  by  the  Gov- 
ernor of  Virginia. 

The  New  river  settlers  were  not  permitted  to  escape  the  ravages 
of  the  Indians  and  the  French,  for  on  the  8th  day  of  July,  1755, 
the  day  before  Braddock's  defeat,  a  considerable  party  of  Shaw- 

Southwest  Virginia,  17JfG-1786.  57 

nese  Indians  fell  upon  this  settlement  and  wiped  it  out  of  exist- 
ence. Colonel  James  Patton,  Casper  Barrier,  Mrs.  George  Draper 
and  a  child  of  John  Draper  were  killed.  Mrs.  William  Inglis  and 
her  two  children,  Mrs.  John  Draper  and  Henry  Leonard  were  taken 
prisoners.  Mrs.  Inglis  was  taken  to  Ohio,  thence  to  Bone  Lick, 
Kentucky,  whence  she  and  an  old  Dutch  woman  made  their  es- 
cape, and,  after  many  days,  returned  to  her  home  on  New  river. 

This  invasion  occurred  on  Sunday,  the  8th  day  of  July,  1755. 
Colonel  Patton,  accompanied  by  William  Preston,  was  on  a  visit 
to  the  New  river  settlement,  and  was  detained  by  sickness  at  the 
house  of  William  Inglish.  William  Preston,  William  Inglis  and 
John  Draper  were  away  from  the  house  at  the  time.  Mrs.  John 
Draper,  who  first  discovered  the  Indians,  ran  to  the  house,  secured 
her  infant  child,  and  attempted  to  make  her  escape  by  the  opposite 
side  of  the  house,  but  she  was  detected  by  the  Indians,  and,  having 
one  of  her  arms  broken,  the  child  fell  to  the  ground.  She  then 
took  the  child  in  the  other  arm  and  continued  her  flight,  but  was 
soon  overtaken,  the  child  taken  from  her,  and  its  brains  dashed 
out  upon  a  log  by  the  Indians.  Colonel  Patton,  at  the  time  of  the 
attack,  was  seated  at  a  table  writing,  with  his  broad  sword  beside 
him.  He  immediately  arose,  and  killed  two  of  the  Indians  be- 
fore he  was  shot  by  others  beyond  his  reach. 

The  Indians  then  plundered  the  premises  and  began  a  hasty  re- 

On  their  retreat  they  passed  the  house  of  an  old  man  by  the 
name  of  Philip  Barger,  whom  they  killed  by  severing  his  head 
from  his  body,  and  carried  it  off  in  a  bag.  It  was  several  days 
before  efforts  were  made  to  overtake  the  enemy  and  rescue  the 
prisoners,  as  Vause's  Fort  was  the  nearest  point  from  which  help 
could  be  obtained. 

Mrs.  Inglis  and  the  other  prisoners  were  carried  by  the  Indians 
to  Ohio.  Mrs.  Inglis  was  al)sent  from  her  home  about  five  months, 
when,  in  the  month  of  December,  1755,  she  reached  the  house  of 
Adam  Harmon  on  New  river,  whence  she  was  taken  to  a  small  fort 
at  Dunkards'  Bottom,  on  the  west  side  of  New  river,  where  she  was 
found  on  the  next  day  by  her  husband  and  her  brother.  The  other 
captives,  with  but  few  exceptions,  were  either  rescued  or  redeemed 
and  returned  to  their  homes  after  many  years. 

The   body   of    Colonel   James   Patton   was   buried   at   Draper's 

58  Southivcst  Virginia,  1746-17S6. 

Meadows.  Colonel  John  Buchanan  sent  a  company  of  men  to 
pursue  the  Indians,  but  they  did  not  succeed  in  overtaking  them, 
and  thus  occurred  the  first  Indian  massacre  of  the  white  inhabitants 
of  Southwest  Virginia. 

About  ten  miles  west  of  where  Christiansburg  now  stands,  and 
near  the  former  residence  of  Captain  Jacob  Kent,  about  two  and 
a  half  miles  east  of  Lafayette  and  on  the  head  waters  of  the  Eoa- 
noke  river,  there  stood  a  small  fort  that  in  those  days  was  known 
as  Vause's  Fort,  and  this  was  the  nearest  place  of  refuge  for  the 
settlers  on  New  river. 

In  the  fall  of  the  year  1755,  about  a  hundred  French  and  Indians 
came  upon  the  ISTew  river,  and  assaulted  and  captured  this  fort 
and  killed  or  carried  into  capti\ity  twenty-four  persons,  not  a 
single  person  escaping.  This  was  a  private  fort,  constructed  by 
the  settlers  for  their  own  protection,  and  was  built  of  logs  and 
easily  captured. 

As  best  I  can  ascertain,  at  the  time  of  this  invasion  James 
Burk,  who  had  settled  in  Burk's  Garden  in  the  year  1753,  was 
captured  with  his  entire  family;  they  were  all  either  killed  or  car- 
ried into  captivity. 

A  register  of  the  persons  who  were  killed,  wounded,  and  taken 
prisoners  in  the  3'ears  1754,  1755,  and  1756  on  the  New  river, 
Eeed  creek,  and  Holston  rivers  has  been  preserved,  and  is  as  fol- 

1754,  Stephen  Lyon,  Holston  Eiver,  killed. 
October.       John  Godman,  Holston  Eiver,  killed. 

Benjamin  Harrison,  Holston  Eiver,  killed. 

1755,  Burk,  Holston  Eiver,  prisoner;  escaped. 

]\Iay  3.        Mary  Baker,  Holston  Eiver,  wounded. 

June  18.      Samuel   Stalnaker,  Holston,  Eiver,  prisoner;  escaped. 

Samuel  Hydon,  Holston  Eiver,  prisoner. 

Adam  Stalnaker,  Holston  Eiver,  killed. 

Mrs.  Stalnaker,  Holston  Eiver,  killed. 

A  servant  man,  Holston  Eiver,  killed. 

Mathias  Connie,  Holston  Eiver,  killed. 
June  19.  Michael  Houck,  Holston  Eiver,  killed. 
July  3.        James  McFarland,  New  Elver,  killed. 

John  Bingeman,  New  Elver,  killed. 

Mrs.  Bingeman,  New  Eiver,  killed. 

Southtvest  Virginm,  17Jf6-17S6.  59 

Adam  Bingeman,  New  River,  killed. 

John  Cook.  New  Eiver,  killed. 

Henry  Lin,  New  River,  killed. 

A  young  child,  New  River,  killed. 

Nathaniel  Welshire,  New  River,  wounded. 

Dutch  Jacob,  New  River,  wounded. 

His  wife,  New  River,  prisoner ;  escaped. 

Frederick  Stern,  New  River,  wounded. 

Mrs.  Bingeman,  Jr.,  New  River,  wounded. 

Mrs.  Davis,  New  River,  wounded. 

Isaac  Freeland,  his  wife  and  five  children.  New  River ; 

Bridgeman's  son  and   daughter  and  a  stranger,   New 

River;  prisoners. 
July  12.    ^Lieutenant  Wright  and  two  soldiers,  Reed  Creek,  killed. 
30.    \  Colonel  James  Patton,  Now  River,  killed,  t--— 
Caspar  Barrier,  New  River,  killed. 
Mrs.  Draper  and  one  child.  New  River,  killed. 
James  Cull,  New  River,  woimded. 
Mrs.  English  (Inglis)  and  her  two  children.  New  River, 

prisoners;  escaped. 
Mrs.  Draper,  Jr.,  New  River,  prisoner. 
Henry  Leonard,  New  River,  prisoner. 
Morris  Griffith,  Vause's  Fort,  prisoner ;  escaped. 
Robert  Looney  and  a  Dutchman,  Reed  Creek,  killed. 
John  Lee,  Reed  Creek,  killed. 
Michael  Motes,  Reed  Creek,  killed. 
Patrick  Smith,  Reed  Creek,  killed. 
Moses  Mann,  Reed  Creek,  prisoner. 
^Valentine  Harman  and  one  son,  New  River,  killed. 
Andrew  Moses,  New  River,  killed. 
25.      Captain  John  Smith,  Fort  Yause,  prisoner ;  escaped. 
Peter  Looney,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner ;  escaped. 
William  Bratton,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner;  escaped. 
Joseph  Smith,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner. 
William  Pepper,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner. 
Mrs.  Vause  and  two  daughters,  a  negro,  and  two  young 

Indians  and  a  servant  man.  Fort  Vause,  prisoners. 
Ivan  Medley,  and  two  daughters.  Fort  Vause,  prisoners. 

60  Soutliicest  Virginia,  I7J16-I786. 

James  Bell,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner. 
Christoj^her  Hicks,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner. 

Cole,  Fort  Vanse,  prisoner. 

Graham,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner. 

Benj.  Daries,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner. 
Lieut.  Jolin  Smith,  Fort  Vause,  killed. 
John  Tracey,  Fort  Vause,  killed. 

John  English,  killed. 

Mrs.   Mary  English,   Fort  Vause,  prisoner. 

Wm.  Eobinson,  Fort  Vause,  wounded. 

Thomas  Eobinson,  Fort  Vause,  wounded. 

Samuel  Eobinson,  Fort  Vause,  wounded. 

Eobert  Pepper,  Fort  Vause,  wounded. 

John  Eobinson,  Fort  Vause,  killed. 
1757.  John  Walker,  Fort  Vause,  prisoner."* 


In  Jul}^  of  this  year,  Eichard  Pearls,  who  was  located  on  the  Hols- 
ton  river  carrying  on  a  trade  with  the  Cherokee  Indians,  addressed  a 
letter  to  the  Governor  of  Virginia  requesting  a  grant  for  the  lands 
on  the  Long  Island  in  the  South  Fork  of  the  Holston  river.  In 
reply  the  Governor  encouraged  Pearis  to  believe  that  he  could  olitain 
a  grant,  and  wrote  him  as  follows :  "I  am  surprised  the  inhabitants 
on  Llolston  river  should  submit  to  be  robbed  by  a  few  Indians.  Let 
the  Chickasaw  know  that  I  greatly  approve  of  his  conduct  and  have 
a  real  esteem  for  him."  This  last  sentence  in  the  Governor's  letter 
had  reference  to  a  Chickasaw  warrior  who  had  resented  the  murder 
of  one  of  the  white  settlers. 

At  the  time  of  which  we  write  the  Virginia  colonists,  and  the 
Cherokee  and  the  Chickasaw  Indians  were  exceedingly  friendly,  and 
through  the  agency  of  Eichard  Pearis,  who  was  a  great  favorite  with 
the  Indians,  the  Govern(Nr  of  Virginia  subsequently  sought  to  en- 
list the  Cherokee  and  the  Chickasaw  Indians  in  the  war  against  the 
French  and  the  Northern  Indians. 


For  the  purpose  of  avenging  the  massacre  of  the  settlers  upon  the 
ISTew  river,  the  Governor  of  Virginia  enlisted  a  hundred  and  thirty 
Cherokee  Indians,  to  whom  were  joined  four  companies  of  the  Eang- 

*Col.  Wm.  Preston  diary  in  L.  C.  Draper  Manuiseript. 

Southivest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  61 

ers  of  West  Augusta,  for  the  purpose  of  invading  and  destroying  the 
Shawnese  towns  at  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Sandy  and  on  the  Ohio 
river.  The  command  of  this  expedition  was  given  to  Major  Andrew 

This  force  consisted  of  two  hundred  and  sixty-three  white  meh, 
commanded  by  Captain  Peter  Hogg,  with  forty  men;  Captain 
William  Preston,  with  thirty  men;  Captain  John  fSmith,  with 
thirty  men;  Captain  Samuel  Overton,  with  forty  men;  Captain 
Obadiah  Woodson,  with  forty  men;  Captains  Robert  Breckenridge, 

Archibald    x\lexander,    John    Montgomery    and Dunlap 

commanding  eighty-three  volunteers,  and  Captain  Richard  Pearls 
commanding  a  hundred  and  thirty  Cherokee  and  Chickasaw  In- 

This  force  was  rendezvoused  at  Fort  Lewis,  near  Salem,  Va., 
whence  they  marched  in  Feb.  1756,  for  the  Indian  towns.  They 
traveled  from  Fort  Lewis,  near  Salem,  to  the  New  river,  which  they 
crossed  at  the  Horseshoe  Bend;  they  thence  descended  the  New 
river  to  the  mouth  of  Wolf  creek,  thence  up  Wolf  creek  to  its 
source,  thence  to  Bluestone  river,  thence  to  the  head  of  North  Fork 
of  Sandy,  which  they  reached  on  the  28th  day  of  February,  1756 ; 
thence  down  the  Sandy  to  the  Great  Burning  Springs,  at  which  point 
they  saw  the  rawhides  of  several  buffaloes  hung  upon  bushes  to  dry. 
At  this  time  provisions  became  very  scarce  and  a  famine  was  threat- 
ened, but  this  little  army  was  saved  by  the  bravery  and  firmness  of 
Major  Lewis. 

The  army  then  proceeded  from  the  Burning  Springs  to  the  banks 
of  the  Ohio,  where  they  remained  for  two  days.  Seeing  no  evidences 
of  Indians,  they  began  to  retrace  their  steps,  and  by  the  time  they 
had  reached  the  Burning  Springs  on  their  return,  the  hunger  of  the 
men  had  become  so  great  that  the  hides  of  the  buffaloes,  which  had 
been  hung  upon  the  bushes,  were  cut  into  tugs,  and  the  men  de- 
voured them  as  the  only  means  of  preserving  life.  It  is  said  that 
from  this  circumstance  the  Tug  Fork  of  Sandy  river  received  its 
name.  Thus  this  expedition  ended  disastrously  for  the  settlers. 
The  Indians  were  correspondingly  elated  and  immediately  ad- 
vanced upon  the  settlements  east  of  the  Alleghany  mountains,  com- 
mitting many  murders  and  carrying  off  many  prisoners. 

The  Governor  and  Council  of  Virginia  agreed  to  build  a  number 
of  forts  for  the  protection  of  the  western  settlements,  and,  among 

62  Southwest  Virginm,  1746-1786.         '- 

the  number.  Fort  Vausc,  wliicli  ]\a(l  been  destroyed  by  the  Indians 
a  short  time  previous.  The  building  of  tlie  fort  was  to  be  under  the 
supervision  of  Captain  Peter  Hogg,  and  was  to  be  at  least  one  hun- 
dred feet  square  in  the  clear,  with  stockades  at  least  sixteen  feet  long, 
and  was  to  be  garrisoned  by  seventy  men.  Immediately  upon  the 
erection  of  this  new  fort,  many  of  the  settlers  returned  to  their 
homes  at  and  near  the  fort.  About  this  time  companies  of  Rangers 
were  organized  for  the  purpose  of  running  down  and  capturing  . 
marauding  Shawnese  Indians  wherever  they  should  be  found.  A 
journal  of  one  of  these  expeditions  has  been  preserved,  which  we 
here  publish  as  a  relic  of  the  past. 

An  extract  of  a  Journal  "Concerning  a  march  that  Capt.  Eobert 
Wade  took  to  the  New  River"  in  search  of  Indians,  Saturday,  12th 
of  August,  1758 : 

Capt.  Robert  Wade  marc't  from  Mayo  fort,  with  35  men,  in 
order  to  take  a  Range  to  the  New  River  in  search  of  our  Enemy  In- 
dians. We  marcht  about  three  miles  that  Day  to  a  Plantation, 
Where  Peter  Rentfro  formerly  Lived  and  took  up  Camp,  where  we 
continued  safe  that  night — Next  morning  being  Sunday,  we  con- 
tinued to  march  about  three  or  four  miles,  and  one  Francis  New 
returned  back  to  the  Fort,  then  we  had  34  men  besides  the  Capt — 
We  marcht  along  to  a  place  called  Gobeling  Town,  where  we  Eat 
our  Brakefast — &  so  continued  our  march  till  late  in  the  after- 
noon, and  took  up  Camp  at  the  Foot  of  the  Blew  Ledge  where  we 
continued  safe  that  night— Next  morning  being  Monday,  the  14th, 
Inst,  we  started  early  and  crossed  the  Blew  Ledge  and  Fell  upon 
a  branch  of  the  Little  River,  called  Pine  Creek, 

We  followed  the  sd :  Creek  down  to  Little  River,  and  crost  the 
Little  River  &  went  to  Francis  Easons'  Plantation  where  we  con- 
tinued that  night.  Our  hunters  brought  a  plentiful  supply  of  Ven- 
ison— Next  morning  being  tuesday  the  15  Inst,  we  marct.  down  to 
Richard  Rattlecliffs'  plantation  on  the  Meadow  Creek,  where  we 
continued  that  night — Next  morning  being  Wednesday  the  16th. 
Inst,  we  Sent  our  Spyes  and  hunters  to  Spy  for  Enemy  Signs,  &  to 
hunt  for  provisions.  But  the  body  of  the  Company  Tarryed  there — 
At  Night  they  came  in  with  a  plenty  of  Venison,  but  could  not  dis- 
cover any  fresh  sign  of  the  Enemy — Next  morning  Thursday  the 
17th  Inst,  we  sent  out  hunters  as  usual,  &  in  the  afternoon  some 
of  them  came  in  &  informed  us  that  they  had  seen  signs  of  Indians 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  63 

at  Drapers'  Meadow,  that  had  been  a  catching  of  horses  that  Day, 
and  that  they  had  gone  a  straight  course  for  Blackwater — upon 
that  we  began  to  get  in  Eeadyness  to  persue  them  next  morning — 
but  one  of  our  men  not  coming  in  that  night  disappointed  us — 
next  morning  Being  Fryday  the  18th.  Inst.  Some  of  the  men  were 
sent  to  Look  for  the  man  that  was  Lost — &  the  Eest  remained  there, 
for  we  counted  it  imprudent  to  Leave  the  Place  before  we  knew 
what  had  become  of  the  lost  man — so  we  tarryed  Till  the  Day  was 
so  far  Spent  that  we  could  not  make  anything  of  a  march  that  Day. 
So  the  Capt.  said  that  he  and  some  more  men  would  go  to  view  the 
sign,  and  See  what  they  could  Discover.  The  Capt.  and  Wm.  Hall 
and  Adam  Hermon,  and  two  or  three  more  went  off  &  Left  the  men 
under  my  Command  and  ordered  that  we  should  be  in  Eeadyness  for 
a  march  as  soon  as  he  returned — Soon  after  the  Captain  was  Gone, 
the  man  that  was  Lost  Came  in  &  Informed  us  that  he  had  been  lost 
in  a  Creek  of  the  Little  Eiver — But  when  the  Captain  came  to  the 
place  where  the  sign  was  Seen,  he  Tels  us  that  he  saw  a  Shoe  track 
among  them,  which  caused  them  to  believe  that  it  had  been  white 
men  after  their  horses — So  the  Captain  nor  none  of  the  men,  that 
was  with  him  returned  that  night,  But  went  a  hunting — Next 
morning  being  Saturday  19th  Inst,  the  Captain  not  coming  gave 
us  a  great  deal  of  Uneasyness — tho  we  Bore  it  with  so  much  pa- 
tience as  we  could  'till  about  noon,  for  we  lay  under  great  appre- 
hensions of  Danger — I  ordered  the  men  to  keep  a  Verry  Sharp  Look 
out,  and  Likewise  to  be  in  order  to  march  next  morning,  by  Sun 
Rise, — I  was  Determined  to  stay  that  night  &  if  the  Capt:  did  not 
come,  to  march  off  after  him — Soon  after  we  had  come  to  a  con- 
clusion about  it  Some  of  the  men  Spyed  five  Indians  Very  near  to 
us,  for  the  place  where  we  was,  was  grown  up  with  weeds  so  that  we 
could  not  Se  them,  nor  they  see  us  'till  thay  came  Verry  near  us — I 
was  a  Lying  down  in  the  house  when  I  heard  the  news — I  Eased  up 
and  presented  my  Gun  at  one  of  the  Indians,  But  I  heard  some  of 
our  Company  that  was  in  another  house,  Cry  out.  Don't  Shoot — 

I  Stopt  at  that  and  askt  them  what  they  were  &  I  beleive  they  said 
Cheroke,  but  Stood  in  amaise,  &  Eeason  they  had,  for  I  suppose 
there  was  20  Guns  presented  at  them,  we  went  up  to  them  & 
Examined  them— they  said  they  were  Cherokees,  I  made  signs  to 
them  to  show  me  their  Pass,  But  they  had  none, — They  had  with 
them  5  head  6t  horse  Kind  &  Skelps,  that  appeared  to  be  white 

64  Southwest  Virginia,  17J,6-1786. 

mens — 4  of  the  horses  appeared  as  tho'  they  had  heen  Lately  taken 
lip,  hilt  the  other  was  very  poor — The  Indians  began  to  make  ready 
to  go  off,  hut  I  made  Signs  to  them  that  they  must  not  Go  that 
uight.  But  they  seemed  very  intent  to  go — but  we  would  not  agree  to 
it — Some  of  the  Company  insisted  to  fall  upon  them  and  Kill  them, 
for  they  said  they  believed  they  were  Shawnees,  &  that  they  were 
Spyes- — and  was  doubtful  that  they  had  a  superior  number  Some 
where  nigh — But  I  said  I  was  determined  to  keep  them  till  the  Capt : 
came,  without  they  would  go  by  forse,  and  if  they  would  we  would 
fire  upon  them — 2  of  the  men  went  off  after  the  Capt :  who  soon  met 
some  of  the  Company,  who  told  them  that  they  had  been  hunting 
&  that  the  Capt:  would  soon  be  in;  who  accordingly  came  soon  after 
.^i  we  informed  him  how  things  had  happened  in  his  absence  &  in 
wdia^  manner  the  Indians  appeared;  that  they  had  no  pass  and  that 
they  had  white  Skelps — After  Capt :  heard  the  opinion  of  the  peo- 
ple, he  past  sentence  of  Death  upon  tliem ;  but  there  was  one  Abra- 
ham Dunkleberry,  hunter  that  we  let  off  who  said  they  were  Chero- 
kees,  yet  he  agreed  that  they  were  Eogues ;  which  seemed  to  put  the 
Capt:  to  a  stand,  but  we  had  their  Guns  taken  from  them  &  a  guard 
kept  over  them  that  night — next  morning  Being  Sunday  20th  Inst, 
upon  what  Dunkleberry  had  said  the  Capt :  let  them  have  their  Guns 
&  let  them  go  off — which  displeased  some  of  the  Carolina  men — so 
much  that  they  swore  if  they  were  not  allowed  to  kill  them,  they 
would  never  go  Banging  again,  for  they  said  it  was  to  no  purpose 
to  Rang  after  the  Enemy,  &  when  they  liad  found  them,  not  to  be 
allowed  to  kill  them — which  you  must  think  is  very  hard  for  us  to 
be  compel  to  Bang  &  then  let  the  Enemy  have  Liberty  to  Kill  some 
of  us,  before  we  Dare  to  Kill  them — at  that  Bate  we  may  all  be 
Kill'd,  and  never  Kill  an  Indian,  for  if  there  is  enough  of  them  to 
overcome  us,  then  they  are  Eneni}^,  But  if  we  are  too  numerous  for 
them  they  are  friends. 

Upon  consideration  of  their  having  no  pass,  nor  white  man,  &  by 
reason  of  their  steal  of  horses,  they  did  not  appear  any  waise  Like 
friends,  so  the  Captain  told  them  to  be  Easy,  and  after  Dunkleberry 
was  gone,  wo  would  go  after  them  and  Kill  them.  So  Dimkleberry 
packt  up  his  skins  to  go  off  &  we  marcht  after  the  Indians — we 
overtook  them  and  past  them,  Because  the  Capt:  said  they  were 
in  such  order  that  we  could  not  kill  them  all,  but  would  wate  for  a 
better  opportunity — They  were  going  toward  the  New  River — so  the 

Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1180.  65 

men  that  had  been  acquainted  Knew  of  2  fords  &  they  Emagined 
they  would  cross  at  the  upper  ford — But  we  lade  an  Ambuslikaide 
at  each  ford,  the  Capt :  &  myself  and  a  partie  of  men  at  the  upper 
ford,  and  a  partie  of  men  at  the  Loer  ford  &  the  Capts :  orders  were 
to  fire  at  them  as  they  Crost  the  Eiver — But  after  we  had  placed  our- 
selves and  sat  awhile  3  or  3  of  the  men  came  from  the  Loer  Ford  & 
informed  us  that  two  of  the  Indians  had  Crost  at  the  Loer  ford,  and 
they  did  not  fire  at  them  because  they  were  not  altogether.  So  the 
Capt.  and  the  men  went  towards  the  Loer  Ford  &  as  we  went  along 
we  saw  4  of  the  Indians;  we  did  not  fire  at  them;  the  Capt:  con- 
cluded to  ly  by  awhile  and  let  them  all  get  together  &  then  follow 
them  and  kill  them — soon  after  the  other  Indians  followed  them, 
the  (*apts :  orders  was  for  13  of  the  best  men  to  follow  them  and 
Kill  them  and  the  remainder  of  the  Company  to  go  to  the  Dunker 
Fort  which  was  about  half  a  mile  below  us  &  the  Capt:  took  such 
men  as  he  Lik'd  and  set  clown  to  conclude  how  we  should  follow 
them — the  way  the  Capt  proposed  was  to  Dog  them  till  night  and 
then  ly  By  till  the  Brake  of  Day  and  then  Fall  upon  them  and  Kill 
them — he  said  if  we  fired  upon  them  in  tha  day,  some  would  get 
away — but  we  did  not  approve  of  his  skeems,  and  told  him  the  111 
Consequence  that  attended  it,  but  he  still  insisted  upon  that  way  of 
proceeding — ^At  length  we  desired  him  to  go  down  to  the  fort  with 
the  rest  of  the. men,  &  let  us  go  after  the  Indians,  to  which  he  con- 
sented, and  went  off  to  the  fort  and  we  after  the  Indians — 

The  men  that  followed  them  Arere  Adam  hermon,  Daniel  Her- 
mon,  Wm.  Hall,  Eic'd  Hall,  Jun'r,  Tobias  Clapp,  Philip  Clap, 
Joseph  Clapp,  Benj.  Angel,  David  Currie,  Eic'd  Hines,  James  Lyon 
&  my  self — 13  of  us — We  followed  them  and  overtook  them  at  a 
peach  orchard — jest  as  they  were  leaving  it,  we  watched  our  oppor- 
tunity, and  fired  at  them  and  followed  them  up  till  we  Killed  4  of 
them,  and  wounded  the  other — we  Skelpt  them  that  we  killed,  & 
then  followed  the  other — he  bled  verry  much,  he  went  into  the 
river  and  to  an  Island — but  we  could  not  find  where  he  went  out — 
some  of  the  men  left  looking  for  him,  and  some  went  after  the 
Indian  horse— but  myself  and  4  or  5  more,  we  Sercht  the  Island 
till  late  in  the  afternoon,  &  when  we  came  to  the  Fort  the  Capt.  and 
men  were  a  handling  the  Indians'  goods  &  after  a  while  the  Capt: 
told  me  we  were  all  to  be  sworn — so  we  Tarried  there  that  night- 
Next  morning  being  Monday  21st  Inst,  we  packed  up  in  order  to 

&6  South irest  Virginia,  17J,G-1786. 

march  liomeward,  for  signs  of  Indians  was  i:)lenty  &  we  had  bi;t  lit- 
tle amimition  bnt  before  we  left  the  fort,  we  were  Sworn — the  words 
of  the  oath  Do  not  remember  exactly,  but  the  Intent  of  the  thing 
was  not  to  tell  that  we  ever  heard  them  say  that  they  were  Chero- 
kees  without  required  to  swere — so  left  the  fort  and  marcht  till  dark 
&  took  up  Camp  at  a  Plantation  upon  a  Branch  of  the  Little  Elver. 
We  continued  there  that  night — next  morning,  being  Tuesday  the 
23nd  inst.  we  marcht  from  that  place  to  Blackwater — we  eat  din- 
ner with  them  marcht  off  again  Rob  Joneses  Plantation  on  the  head 
of  Pig  Eiver,  and  Tarryed  tliere  that  night,  next  morning  being 
Wednesday  23d.  inst.  they  delayed  time  in  the  morning,  and  we  had 
nothing  to  eat,  the  Company  had  some  rum  to  drink,  but  myself 
and  four  more  left  the  Company  and  went  across  to  Goblingtown 
&  came  to  Mayo  Fort^that  night — the  Captain  and  the  Rest  of  the 
men  tells  us  that  they  came  to  Ilickey's  fort  and  that  night  and 
next  day  to  Mayo  fort — I  remember  no  more  worth  making  a  remark 
of  so  Courteous  Reader  I  Rem'n 

Yrs.  &.,  John  Echols. 

Captain  Wm.  Preston  and  Captain  Wm.  Byrd  each  organized  a 
company  of  Rangers.  A  number  of  the  men  that  enlisted  under 
them  afterwards  settled  in  Washington  county  and  their  names  were 
as  follows: 

Capt.  Wm.  Preston  s  Co.  Capt.  Wm.  Byrd's  Co. 

Wm.  Johnston,  Michal  Morrison,  Sergt., 

Benj.  Estill,  John  Crank, 

George  Martin,  Thomas  Brumley, 

John  Johnston,  John  Donnelly,  Fifer, 

Jas.  Clendenen,  Richard  Staunton,  Sergt., 

John  Vance,  John  Lemons, 

Solomon  Kendrick,  Richard  Chapman, 

Christopher  Aekland,  Francis  Farmer, 

Robert  Rutherford.  Henry  Dooley, 

Drury  Puckett,  Sergt., 
John  Ross. 

On  the  29th  of  July,  175G,  a  Council  of  War  assembled  at  Staun- 
ton, by  direction  of  the  Governor  of  Virginia,  to  determine  at  what 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  67 

points  forts  should  be  built  along  the  frontier  for  the  protection  of 
the  settlers. 

The  Council  was  composed  of  Col.  John  Buchanan,  Samuel  Stal- 
naker  and  others,  of  which  Council  Wm.  Preston  acted  as  clerk. 
There  can  be  no  doubt  that  Captain  Samuel  Stalnaker  represented 
the  Holston  settlement  and  that  it  was  at  his  request  that  the 
stockade  fort  was  built  at  Dunkards'  Bottom,  on  New  river,  and  at 
Davis'  Bottom,  at  the  head  waters  of  the  Middle  Fork  of  Holston 

In  the  year  1757,  Dickenson's  Fort,  situated  on  the  Cow  Pasture 
river,  in  Augusta  county,  was  raided  by  the  Indians,  and  several  chil- 
dren, playing  under  the  walls  outside  the  fort,  and  a  number  of  men 
were  captured.  So  careless  were  the  commanding  oflBcers  that  the 
Indians  reached  the  very  gates  of  the  fort  before  they  were  discov- 
ered. At  the  time  of  this  raid  upon  Dickenson's  Fort,  the  Indians 
captured  a  boy  who  was  destined  in  after  years  to  play  such  a  part 
in  the  history  of  Washington  county  as  would  justly  entitle  him  to 
the  appellation  of  "Father  of  Washington  County,"  so  intelligent 
and  active  were  his  efforts  in  the  settling  of  our  county  and  in  the 
protection  of  its  earlier  inhabitants ;  and  this  boy  was  Arthur  Camp- 
bell, who  had  volunteered  as  a  militiaman  for  the  protection  of  the 
frontiers.  On  the  day  of  the  raid  he,  with  others,  had  gone  to  a 
thicket  near  by  in  search  of  plums,  when  the  party  was  fired  upon 
from  ambush  by  Indians,  and  Campbell  was  wounded  and  cap- 
tured. He  was  carried  by  the  Indians  to  Ohio  and  thence  to  the 
Lakes,  where  he  was  detained  for  a  number  of  years,  when  he  suc- 
ceeded in  making  his  escape  to  an  English  force  and  returned  to  his 
home.  Upon  his  return  he  addressed  a  letter  to  the  Governor  of 
Virginia,  detailing  the  circumstances  of  his  capture  and  detention, 
and  thereby  made  such  an  impression  upon  the  Governor  that  he 
was  afterwards  granted  a  thousand  acres  of  land  in  consideration  of 
his  services. 

Governor  Dinwiddie  was  so  much  in  earnest  about  enlisting  the 
Cherokee  and  other  Southern  Indians  in  the  war  against  the  French 
and  Northern  Indians,  that,  in  the  year  1756,  he  dispatched  the 
Hon.  Peter  Randolph  and  Wm.  Byrd  to  their  country  as  commis- 
sioners, to  negotiate  formal  treaties  with  them.  The  commissioners 
returned  to  Williamsburg  and,  either  before  or  at  that  time,  a  treaty 
was  made  with  the  Indians,  by  which  it  was  stipulated  that  the 

C8  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1780. 

Indians  were  to  send  reinforcements  to  aid  tlie  Colonies,  in  consid- 
eration of  the  agreement  of  the  Government  to  build  a  fort  in  their 
country.  On  the  24th  day  of  April  the  Governor  directed  Major 
Andrew  Lewis  to  enlist,  sixty  men  who  could  use  the  saw  and  axe, 
and  to  proceed  to  the  Cherokee  country  with  all  speed  and  erect  a 
fort  as  agreed  upon.  ]\Iajor  Lewis  did  not  start  for  the  Indian 
country  until  June  of  that  year,  and  on  the  20th  day  of  August, 
wrote  the  Governor  that  he  might  expect  a  reinforcement  of  a  hun- 
dred and  fifty  Cherokees  and  fifty  Catawba  Indians  at  an  early  date. 

Major  Lewis,  with  his  force,  passed  down  the  waters  of  the  Hols- 
ton  to  the  southern  bank  of  the  Tennessee  river,  at  the  head  of  navi- 
gation, about  thirty  miles  from  the  present  city  of  Knoxville.  He 
there  built  a  fort,  which  ]:e  called  Fort  Loudon,  in  honor  of  the 
Governor  of  Virginia.  In  September  of  that  year,  Major  Lewis 
addressed  another  letter  to  the  Governor  of  Virginia,  in  which  he 
stated  that  the  Indians  were  very  much  pleased  with  their  fort,  and 
that  the  Governor  might  expect  a  reinforcement  of  four  hundred 
Indians.  This  letter  also  contained  a  request  from  the  Indians 
that  the  Governor  would  send  a  small  garrison  of  white  men  to  hold 
the  fort  during  the  absence  of  their  warriors.  By  the  18th  day  of 
September,  1756,  Captain  Samuel  Overton  and  his  men,  who  had 
accompanied  Major  Lewis,  had  returned  to  their  homes,  leaving 
Major  Lewis  in  the  Indian  country  to  bring  in  the  reinforcements. 

In  the  fall  of  that  year  Major  Lewis  returned  from  the  Chero- 
kee country,  accompanied  by  seven  warriors  and  three  women,  great- 
ly to  the  surprise  of  the  Governor.  The  French  in  the  meantime 
had  bought  off  the  Indians. 

Fort  Loudon  was  then  estimated  to  be  more  than  a  hundred  miles 
from  (lie  nearest  settlement,  was  at  a  place  at  all  times  difficult  to 
rjach,  even  in  times  of  peace,  and  beyond  the  reach  of  help  from 
the  settlements  in  the  event  of  war  with  the  Cherokee  Indians.  This 
fort  was  by  order  of  the  Earl  of  Loudon,  then  Governor  of  Virginia, 
garrisoned  by  two  hundred  troops  from  Britain. 

The  Indians  allured  artisans  into  Fort  Loudon  by  donations  of 
land,  which  they  caused  to  be  signed  by  their  own  chief  and^bv 
Governor  Dobbs  of  North  Carolina.  There  was  a  rapid  increase  of 
the  number  of  settlers,  as  a  result,  at  and  in  the  vicinity  of  Fort 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  69 

In  the  year  1756  the  New  River  Lead  Mines  were  discovered  by 
Col.  John  Chiswell,  at  which  time  operations  were  begun. 

Coh  Chiswell  had  been  engaged  in  mining  operations  near  Fred- 
ericksburg, Va.,  for  some  time  previous  to  this  time,  and  was  an 
intimate  friend  of  Col.  Wm  Byrd. 

Abont  this  time  the  lead  mines  were  discovered,  and  four  hun- 
dred acres  of  land,  including  the  mines,  were  surveyed  on  October 
1st,  3  781,  and  a  patent  was  issued  to  Chas.  Lynch,  trustee  for  the 
lead  mine  company,  by  Beverly  Randolph,  Governor  of  Virginia,  on 
the  7th  day  of  May,  1791,  in  consideration  of  £3  10s.  sterling,  paid 
by  Chas.  Lynch,  and  of  pre-emption  Treasury  warrants  Nos.  2393 
and  2356.  As  far  as  I  can  ascertain  this  property  was  owned  orig- 
inally by  Col.  Wm.  Byrd,  Col.  John  Chiswell  and  John  Robinson, 
afterwards  Treasurer  of  Virginia.  Col.  John  Chiswell,  some  time 
pi-evious  to  1775,  killed  a  man  in  Cumberland  county,  Virginia,  and 
while  awaiting  trial  he  committed  suicide.* 

At  the  beginning  of  the  Revolutionary  War,  the  Legislature  of 
Virginia  directed  the  Committee  of  Safety  for  Fincastle  county  to 
lease  these  mines,  at  a  reasonable  rent,  and  if  they  could  not  lease 
them,  to  impress  them  for  fthe  use  of  the  State.  The  committee, 
acting  according  to  their  authority,  took  possession  of  the  lead  mines, 
whether  by  lease  or  by  impressment  I  cannot  say,  anc"  the  State  of 
Virginia,  through  her  agents,  Chas.  Lynch  and  Capt.  Calloway, 
operated  these  mines  during  the  Revolutionary  War,  and  paid  rent 
therefor  to  the  representatives  of  John  Robinson  and  Wm.  Byrd, 
and  to  John  Chiswell,  the  son  of  Col.  John  Chiswell. 

A  considerable  village  had  grown  up  around  Fort  Loudon  by  the 
year  1760. 

British  arms  were  successful  at  every  point  in  the  contest  with  the 
French  and  Indians  in  1758-1760.  Canada  was  conquered  and  the 
French  expelled  from  it  in  1759,  and  Fort  Du  Quesne  was  cap- 
turned  by  General  Forbes  and  the  French  expelled  from  the  Ohio 


The  result  of  the  expulsion  of  the  French  from  Canada  and  the 
Ohio  Valley  proved  very  disastrous  to  the  western  settlements  of  the 
Southern  Colonies.     "The  scene  of  action  was  only  changed  from 

*Ninth  Henning's  Statutes,  pages  73-237. 
t  Vol.  14  Call's  Rep.,  page  17. 
t  2  H.  &  M.  Rep.,  page  22. 

70  Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786. 

one  place  to  another,  and  the  baneful  influence  of  those  active  and 
enterprising  enemies  that  had  descended  the  Ohio  soon  manifested 
itself  in  a  more  concentrated  form  among  the  upper  Cherokees,  the 
interior  position  of  whose  country  furnished  facilities  of  immediate 
and  frequent  intercourse  with  the  defeated  and  exasperated  French- 
men, who  now  ascended  the  Tennessee  river  and  penetrated  to  their 
mountain  fastnesses.  An  unfortunate  quarrel  with  the  Virginians 
helped  to  forward  their  intrigues  and  opened  an  easier  access  into 
the  towns  of  the  savages.  The  Cherokees,  as  before  remarked,  had, 
agreeably  to  their  treaties,  sent  a  number  of  their  warriors  to  assist 
in  the  reduction  of  Du  Quesne.  Eeturning  home  through  the  back 
parts  of  Virginia,  some  of  them,  who  had  lost  their  horses  on  this 
expedition,  laid  hold  on  such  as  they  found  running  at  large  and 
appropriated  them.  The  Virginians  resented  the  injury  by  killing 
twelve  or  fourteen  of  the  unsuspecting  warriors  and  taking  several 
more  prisoners.  This  ungrateful  conduct  from  allies,  whose  fron- 
tiers they  had  defended  and  recovered,  aroused  at  once  a  spirit  of 

deep  resentment  and  deadly  retaliation The 

flame  soon  spread  through  the  upper  towns.  The  garrison  at  Fort 
Loudon,  consisting  of  about  two  hundred  men  under  the  command 
of  Captains  Demere  and  Stuart,  was,  from  its  remote  position  from 
the  white  settlements,  the  first  to  notice  the  disaffection  and  to  suffer 
from  it.  The  soldiers,  as  usual,  making  excursions  into  the  woods 
to  procure  fresh  provisions,  were  attacked  by  them  and  some  of  them 
killed.  From  this  time  such  dangers  threatened  the  garrison  that 
every  one  was  confined  within  the  small  boundary  of  the  fort."     .     . 

"All   communication   with   the  settlements 

across  the  mountains  from  which  they  received  supplies  was  cut  off, 
and  the  soldiers,  having  no  other  sources  from  which  provision  could 
be  procured,  had  no  prospect  left  them  but  famine  or  death.  Par- 
ties of  the  young  warriors  rushed  down  upon  the  frontier  settle- 
ments, and  the  work  of  massacre  became  general  along  the  borders 
of  Virginia  and  North  Carolina."* 

The  Governor  of  North  Carolina  undertook  to  pacify  the  Indians, 
and  negotiated  a  treaty  with  six  of  their  head  men,  but  this  treaty 
did  not  express  the  sentiments  of  the  Indians  and  they  paid  no 
attention  to  it. 

Numerous  companies  of  Eangers  were  organized  to  patrol  the 


Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  71 

frontiers  and  punish  the  Indians  for  any  depredations  they  might 
commit,  and  every  means  was  exhausted  to  bring  about  peace,  but 
the  Indians  were  nOt  disposed  to  listen  to  any  terms  of  accommo- 
dation and  continued  their  depredations  wherever  and  whenever 

The  Crovernor  of  Virginia  directed  Col.  William  Byrd  to  proceed 
to  Fort  Loudon  with  a  body  of  backwoodsmen  froiu  Virginia,  num- 
bering al>out  six  hundred  men,  and  to  relieve  the  garrison.  Col. 
Byrd  organized  his  force  and  began  the  march,  but  was  greatly 
liampered  by  lack  of  men  and  supplies. 

JSFotwithstanding  the  fact  that  Col.  Byrd  was  an  experienced  cam- 
paigner, he  occupied  most  of  his  time  in  building  block-houses  and 
roads,  and  accomplished  nothing  in  the  way  of  relieving  Fort  Lou- 

He  crossed  Kew  river  to  the  lead  mines  and  immediately  pro- 
ceeded to  build  a  fort  about  two  miles  south  of  the  present  site  of 
Max  Meadows  on  the  McAdam  road  near  the  home  of  James  Mc- 
Gavock,  to  which  he  gave  the  name  of  Fort  Chiswell,  in  honor  of 
his  friend.  Col.  John  Chiswell,  who  was  at  that  time  working  the 
lead  mines  which  had  been  discovered  some  time  previously. 

From  Fort  Chiswell  Col.  Byrd  marched  to  the  Long  Island  in  the 
South  Fork  of  Holston  river,  opening  a  road  from  Fort  I'hiswell  to 
Long  Island. 

At  this  point.  Col.  Byrd  and  his  men  spent  the  winter  of  1760. 
During  the  winter  Col.  Byrd  erected  a  fort  upon  a  beautiful  level  on 
the  north  bank  of  the  South  Fork  of  the  Holston  river,  nearly  oppo- 
site the  upper  end  of  Long  Island,  to  which  fort  he  gave  the  name 
of  Fort  Robinson,  in  honor  of  John  Eobinson,  the  partner  of  him- 
self and  Col.  John  Chiswell  in  the  ownership  of  tlie  lead  mines. 
This  fort  was  built  upon  an  extensive  plan.  The  walls  were  suffi- 
cient in  thickness  to^  withstand  the  force  of  a  small  cannon  shot. 
There  were  proper  bastions,  and  the  gates  were  spiked  with  large 
nails  so  that  the  wood  was  entirely  covered.* 

At  the  time  this  fort  was  built,  it  was  supposed  that  the  Long 
Island  was  in  Virginia,  the  boundary  line  between  Virginia  and 
North  Carolina  not  having  been  run  farther  west  than  Steep  Rock. 

And  thus  to  Virginians  may  be  assigned  the  lionor  of  having 

*Fort  Patrick  Heury,  177(3. 

72  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-178G. 

erected  Fort  London  and  Fort  Eobinson,  the  first  Anglo-American 
forts  witliin  tlie  present  State  of  Tennessee. 

\\'!iile  ciiiiaged  in  hiiildiiig  Fort  IJobinson  Col.  Byrd  was  joined 
by  five  Inuidi'cd  men  IVoiii  Xoi'lh  Carolina  nnder  the  command  of 
Col.  Waddell. 

As  a  resnlt  of  the  conrse  pursued  l)y  Coh  Byrd,  great  dissatisfac- 
tion arose  among  his  men,  and  C^ol.  Byrd  resig-ned,  and  was  suc- 
ceeded in  the  command  of  the  force,  now  numliering  al)out  twelve 
hundred  men,  by  Col.  Stephens. 

In  tlie  meantime,  the  distant  garrison  at  Fort  Lomlon,  consist- 
ing of  two  lumdred  men,  was  reduced  to  the  dreadful  alternative  of 
perishing  by  hunger  or  submitting  to  the  mercy  of  the  enraged 
Cherokees.  The  Governor  of  South  Carolina,  hearing  that  the  Vir- 
ginians had  undertaken  to  relieve  it,  for  awdiile  seemed  satisfied  and 
anxiously  waited  to  hear  the  news  of  that  happy  event,  but  so  remote 
was  the  fort  from  any  settlement  and  so  difficult  was  it  to  march 
an  army  through  a  barren  wilderness,  where  every  thicket  con- 
cealed an  enemy,  and  to-  carry,  at  the  same  time,  suffi.cient  supplies 
along  with  them,  that  the  Virginians  had  not  succeeded  in  giving 
them  assistance.  Provisions  being  entirely  exhausted  at  Fort  Lou- 
don, the  garrison  Avas  upon  the  point  of  starving.  For  a  whole 
month  they  had  no  other  subsistence  than  the  flesh  of  lean  hoTses 
and  dogs  and  a  small  supply  of  Indian  beans,  procured  stealthily  for 
them  by  some  friendly  Cherokee  w^omen.  The  officers  had  long  en- 
deavored to  encourage  the  men.  with  the  hope  oi  succour ;  but  now, 
being  blockaded  night  and  day  by  the  enemy  and  having  no  resource 
left,  they  threatened  to  leave  the  fort  and  die  at  once  by  the  hands 
of  the  savages,  rather  than  perish  slowly  by  famine.  In  this  extrem- 
ity the  commander  was  obliged  to  call  a  council  of  war  tO'  consider 
what  was  proper  to  be  done.  The  officers  were  all  of  the  opinion 
that  it  was  impossible  to  hold  out  longer.  They  therefore  agreed  to 
surrender  the  fort  to  the  Cherokees  on  the  best  terms  that  could  be 
obtained  from  them.  For  this  purpose,  Capt.  Stuart,  an  officer  of 
great  sagacity  and  address  and  much  beloved  by  those  of  the  Indians 
who  reuiained  in  the  British  interest,  ])rocured  leave  to  go  to  Chota, 
one  of  the  principal  towns  in  the  neighborhood,  where  he  obtained 
the  following  terms  of  capitulation,  which  were  signed  by  the  coni- 
iiiniiding  officers  and  two  of  the  Cherokee  chiefs. 

"•That  the  uai-rison  of  Fort  Ijoudon  march  out  with  their  arms 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  73 

and  drums,  each  soldier  having  as  much  powder  and  ball  as  his  officer 
shall  think  necessary  for  the  march,  and  all  the  baggage  he  may 
choose  to  carry;  that  the  garrison  be  permitted  to  march,  unmolested, 
to  Virginia  or  Fort  Prince  George,  as  the  commanding  officer  shall 
tliink  proper,  and  that  a  number  of  Indians  be  appointed  to  escort 
them  and  hunt  for  provisions  diiring  the  march;  that  such  sol- 
diers as  are  lame,  or  by  sickness  disabled  from  marching,  be  received 
into  the  Indian  towns  and  kindly  used  until  they  recover,  and  then 
be  allowed  to  return  to  Fort  Prince  George;  that  the  Indians  do 
ju'ovide  for  the  garrison  as  many  horses  as  they  conveniently  can  for 
the  march,  agreeing  with  the  officers  and  soldiers  for  payment ;  that 
tlie  fort,  gTeat  guns,  powder,  ball  and  spare  arms  be  delivered  to  the 
Indians  without  fraud  or  further  delay,  on  the  day  appointed  for 
the  march  of  the  troops.* 

"Agreeably  to  this  stipulation,  the  garrison  delivered  up  the  fort 
and  marched  out  with  their  arms,  accompanied  by  Oconostota, 
Judds'  friend,  the  Prince  of  Chota,  and  several  other  Indians,  and 
that  day  went  fifteen  miles  on  their  way  to  Fort  Prince  George. 

A-t  night  they  encamped  upon  a  plain  about  two  miles  from  Tali- 
quo,  an  Indian  town,  when  all  their  attendants,  upon  one  pretext  or 
another,  left  them ;  which  the  officers  considered  as  no  good  sign,  and 
therefore  placed  a  strict  guard  around  their  camp.  During  the 
night  they  remained  unmolested,  but  next  morning  about  break  of 
day  a  soldier  from  an  outpost  came  running  in  and  informed  them 
that  he  saw  a  number  of  Indians,  armed  and  painted  in  the  most 
dreadful  manner,  creeping  among  the  bushes  and  advancing  in  order 
to  surround  them.  Scarcely  had  the  officer  time  to  order  his  men 
to  stand  to  their  arms,  when  the  savages  poured  in  upon  them  a 
heavy  fire  from  different  quarters,  accompanied  by  the  most  hideous 
yells,  which  struck  a  panic  into  the  soldiers,  who  were  so  much  en- 
feebled and  dispirited  that  they  were  incapable  of  making  any  effect- 
ual resistance.  Captain  Demere,  with  three  other  officers  and  about 
twenty-six  privates,  fell  at  the  first  onset.  Some  fled  into  the  woods 
and  were  afterwards  taken  prisoners  and  confined  among  the  towns 
in  the  valley.  Captain  Stuart  and  those  that  remained  were  seized, 
pinioned  and  brought  back  to  Fort  Loudon.  No  sooner  had  Attakul- 
lakulla  heard  that  his  friend,  Mr.  Stuart,  had  escaped,  than  he  has- 
tened to  the  fort  and  purchased  him  from  the  Indian  that  took  him, 


74  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

giving  him  his  rifle,  clothes  and  all  he  could  command  hy  way  of 
ransom.  He  then  took  possession  of  Capt.  Demere's  house,  where 
he  kept  his  prisoner  as  one  of  his  family  and  freely  shared  with 
him  the  little  provisions  his  table  afforded,  until  a  fair  oppor- 
tunity should  offer  for  rescuing  him  from  the  hands  of  the  savages, 
but  the  poor  soldiers  were  kept  in  a  miserable  state  of  captivity  for 
some  time  and  then  redeemed  by  the  province  at  great  expense. 

"While  the  prisoners  were  confined  at  Fort  Loudon,  Oconostota 
formed  the  design  of  attacking  Fort  Prince  George.  To  this  bold 
undertaking  he  was  the  more  encouraged,  as  the  cannon  and  am- 
munition surrendered  by  the  garrison  would,  under  direction  of 
French  officers  who  were  near  him,  secure  its  success.  Messengers 
were  therefore  dispatched  to  the  valley  towns  requesting  their  war- 
riors to  meet  him  at  Stickoee. 

"By  accident,  discovery  was  made  of  ten  bags  of  powder  and  a 
large  quantity  of  ball,  that  had  been  secretly  buried  at  the  fort  to  pre- 
vent their  falling  into  the  enemy's  hands.  This  discovery  had  nearly 
proved  fatal  to  Captain  Stuart ;  but  the  interpreter  had  such  presence 
of  mind  as  to  assure  the  incensed  savages  that  these  warlike  stores 
were  concealed  without  Stuart's  knowledge  or  consent.  The  sup- 
ply of  ammunition  being  sufficient  for  the  siege,  a  council  was  held 
at  Chota,  to  which  the  captive  Stuart  was  taken.  Here  he  was  re- 
minded of  the  obligations  he  was  under  for  having  his  life  spared, 
and  as  they  had  determined  to  take  six  cannon  and  two  cohorts 
against  Fort  Prince  George,  the  Indians  told  him  he  must  accom- 
pany the  expedition,  manage  the  artillery  and  write  such  letters  to 
the  commandant  as  they  should  dictate  to  him.  They  further  in- 
formed him  that  if  the  officer  should  refuse  to  surrender,  they  had 
determined  to  burn  the  prisoners,  one  by  one,  before  his  face  and 
try  whether  he  could  be  so  obstinate  as  to  hold  out  while  his  friends 
were  expiring  in  the  flames. 

"Captain  Stuart  was  much  alarmed  at  his  present  situation  and 
from  that  moment  resolved  to  make  his  escape  or  perish  in  the 
attempt.  He  privately  communicated  his  design  to  Attakullakulla 
and  told  him  that  the  thought  of  bearing  arms  against  his  country- 
men harrowed  his  feelings,  and  he  invoked  his  assistance  to  accom- 
plish his  release.  The  old  warrior  took  him  by  the  hand,  told  him  he 
was  his  friend  and  was  fully  apprised  of  the  designs  of  his  country- 
men, and  pledged  his  efforts  to  deliver  him  from  danger.    Attakulla- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  75 

kulla  claimed  Captain  Stuart  as  his  prisoner  and  resorted  to  strata- 
gem to  rescue  him.  He  told  the  other  Indians  that  he  intended  to 
go  a  hunting  for  a  few  days  and  to  take  his  prisoner  with  him. 
Accordingly  they  departed,  accompanied  by  the  warrior's  wife,  his 
brother  and  two  soldiers.  The  distance  to  the  frontier  settlements 
was  great  and  the  utmost  expedition  was  necessary  to  prevent  sur- 
prise from  Indians  pursuing  them.  Nine  days  and  nights  did  they 
travel  through  a  dreary  wilderness,  shaping  their  course  by  the  sun 
and  moon,  for  Virginia.  On  the  tenth  they  arrived  at  the  banks  of 
the  Holston  river,  where  they  fortunately  fell  in  with  a  party  of  three 
hundred  men,  sent  out  under  the  command  of  Col.  Byrd  for  the 
relief  of  Fort  Loudon.  On  the  fourteenth  day  the  Captain  reached 
Col.  Byrd's  camp  on  the  frontiers  of  Virginia.  His  faithful  friend 
Attakullakulla  was  here  loaded  with  presents  and  provisions  and 
sent  back  to  protect  the  unhappy  prisoners  till  they  should  be  ran- 
somed and  to  exert  his  influence  with  the  Cherokees  for  the  restora- 
tion of  peace."* 

It  will  be  observed  that  Fort  Loudon  was  defended  by  twelve  great 
guns.  It  cannot  be  explained  how  the  cannon  had  been  transported 
to  Fort  Loudon  as  early  as  1756.  They  could  not  have  been  brought 
down  the  Ohio  and  up  the  Tennessee,  for  the  French  were  in  pos- 
session of  the  mouth  of  the  Tennessee.  The  only  plausible  ex- 
planation that  can  be  given  is  that  these  cannon  were  carried  across 
the  mountains  from  Augusta  county  when  reinforcements  were  sent 
to  Fort  Loudon,  and  then  along  Indian  trails  upon  pack-horses.  It 
is  possible  that  these  cannon  were  brought  from  Fort  Lewis  to  the 
head  waters  of  the  Holston  and  carried  down  the  same  in  boats  or 
canoes  to  the  mouth  of  the  Holston,  and  thence  up  the  Little  Ten- 
nessee to  Fort  Loudon. 

It  is  sad  to  contemplate  the  fate  of  the  occupants  of  this  the  first 
Anglo-American  fort  established  in  Tennessee. 

It  does  not  appear  that  the  fort  at  Long  Island  was  permanently 
occupied  at  this  time.  About  this  time,  large  numbers  of  hunters 
from  Eastern  Virginia,  allured  by  the  report  of  the  abundance  of 
game  and  the  prospect  of  gain  in  the  western  wilderness,  organized 
themselves  into  companies,  and  hunted  throughout  Southwest  Vir- 
ginia, East  Tennessee  and  Eastern  Kentucky. 

The  first  company  of  hunters  who  visited  this  section,  as  far  as 


76  Southwest  Virginia,  17JfG-1786. 

I  can  ascertain,  was  a  company  organized  by  Elislia  Wallen  (from 
whom  Wallen's  Creek  and  Wallen's  Eidge  received  their  names,  as 
well  as  Wallen's  Station  in  Lee  county),  accompanied  by  Scaggs, 
Blevins,  Cox  and  others.  They  remained  eighteen  months,  during 
which  time  they  hunted  in  Clinch  and  Powell's  Valleys  in  Virginia, 
and  Carter's  Valley  in  Tennessee,  and  went  as  far  as  Laurel  moun- 
tain in  Kentucky. 

About  the  same  time  Daniel  Boone,  accompanied  by  several  hunt- 
ers, visited  the  Holston  and  camped  the  first  night  in  what  is  now 
known  as  Taylor's  Valley.  On  the  succeeding  day,  they  hunted  down 
the  South  Fork  of  Holston  river  and  traveled  thence  to  what  was 
thereafter  known  as  Wolf  Hills,  where  they  encamped  the  second 
night,  near  where  Black's  Fort  was  afterwards  built.  It  is  interest- 
ing to  note  at  this  point  that  Daniel  Boone  and  his  companion,  im- 
mediately after  nightfall,  were  troubled  by  the  appearance  of  great 
numbers  of  wolves,  which  assailed  their  dogs  with  such  fury  that  it 
was  with  great  difficulty  that  the  hunters  succeeded  in  repelling  their 
attacks  and  saving  the  lives  of  their  dogs,  a  number  of  which  were 
killed  or  badly  crippled  by  the  wolves.  The  wolves  had  their  home 
in  the  cive  that  underlies  the  town  of  Abingdon.  The  entrance  to 
this  cave  is  upon  the  lot  now  occupied  by  the  residence  of  Capt. 
James  L.  White,  and  it  was  from  this  incident  that  Abingdon  re- 
ceived its  first  name,  Wolf  Hills.  Boone  and  his  companion  re- 
mained at  Abingdon  for  a  short  while,  during  which  time  they  dis- 
agreed and  separated,  Boone  taking  the  Indian  trail  leading  to  Long 
Island,  and  ISTathaniel  Gist,  his  companion,  following  the  Indian 
trail  to  Cumberland  Gap.    They  did  not  meet  again  upon  this  trip. 

On  Boon's  creek  in  East  Tennessee  was  found  a  tree  upon  which 
was  found  the  following  inscription:  "D.  Boon  cilled  a  bar  on  this 
tree  in  the  year  1760";  and  near  Long  Island  in  Tennessee  a  tree 
was  found  in  recent  years  upon  which  was  the  following  inscription : 
"D.  Boon  killa  bar  on  this  tree  1773." 

A  block  containing  the  last  inscription  was  taken  from  this  tree 
and  is  now  in  possession  of  Mrs.  James  W,  Preston,  of  Abingdon, 
and  establishes  the  fact  that  Daniel  Boone  was  upon  the  waters  of 
the  Holston  as  early  as  1760,  and  again  in  1773. 

A  treaty  of  peace  was  conclwded  between  the  French  and  English 
at  Fontainbleau,  in  1762,  by  which  the  English  acquired  Canada 
and  that  portion  of  the  Mississippi  Valley  east  of  that  river,  but 

Daniel  Boone  and  Boone  Trees. 

78  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

peace  was  not  concluded  with  the  Indians  until  the  next  year.  The 
Indians  had  become  accustomed  to  bloodshed  and  greatly  detested 
the  Anglo-American  settlers.  They  were  greatly  exasperated  by  the 
cession  of  Canada  to  the  English  and  at  the  French  for  deserting 

The  Indians  detested  the  Anglo- American  settlers  for  the  very  evi- 
dent reason  that  they  asserted  title  to  all  the  lands  lying  upon  the 
western  waters,  were  building  forts  at  various  places  upon  the  fron- 
tiers and  manning  them  with  British  troops,  and  because  their  set- 
tlers were  occupying  the  favorite  hunting  grounds  of  the  Indians. 
The  Indians,  being  deprived  of  the  more  moderate  counsel  of  their 
French  allies,  therefore  became  more  brutal  and  savage  in  their  con- 
duct towards  the  settlers,  and  so  active  and  intelligent  were  the 
Indians  in  conducting  their  campaigns  against  the  settlements  that 
all  the  land  lying  along  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi  was  depopulated 
by  July,  1763,  except  a  small  settlement  at  Draper's  Meadows,  on 
New  river.  The  condition  of  the  country  at  that  time  is  best  de- 
scribed by  a  letter  of  Col.  Wm.  Preston,  which  letter  is  here  pub- 

The  letter  is  dated  Greenfield,  27th  July,  1763.  The  writer 
says :  "Our  situation  at  present  is  very  different  from  what  it  was 
when  we  had  the  pleasure  of  your  company  in  this  country.  All  the 
valleys  of  Eoanoke  river  and  along  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi  are 
depopulated,  except  Captain  English  with  a  few  families  on  the  New 
river,  who  have  built  a  fort,  among  whom  are  Mr.  Thompson  and  his 
family,  alone  remaining.  They  intend  to  make  a  stand  till  some  as- 
sistance be  sent  them.  Seventy-fi,ve  of  the  Bedford  militia  went  out 
in  order  to  pursue  the  enemy,  but  I  hear  the  officers  and  part  of  the 
men  are  gone  home,  and  the  rest  gone  to  Eeed  creek  to  help  in  the 
family  of  James  Davis  and  in  two  or  three  other  families  there  that 
dare  not  venture  to  travel. 

"I  have  built  a  little  fort  in  which  are  eighty-seven  persons,  twenty 
of  whom  bear  arms.  We  are  in  a  pretty  good  posture  of  defence, 
and  with  the  aid  of  God  are  determined  to  make  a  stand.  In  five  or 
six  other  plades  in  this  part  of  the  country  they  have  fallen  into  the 
same  method  and  with  the  same  resolution.  How  long  we  may  keep 
them  is  uncertain.  No  enemy  have  appeared  here  as  yet.  Their 
guns  are  frequently  heard  and  their  footing  observed,  which  makes 
us  believe  they  will  pay  us  a  visit.    My  two  sisters  and  their  families 

Southivest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  79 

are  here  and  all  in  good  health.  We  bear  our  misfortunes  so  far  with 
*  *  *  and  are  in  hopes  of  being  relieved  I  have  a  thousand 
things  *  *  *  Captain  Christian  can't  wait  *  *  *  i  give 
you  joy/'    (The  asterisks  indicate  parts  of  the  letter  torn  out.) 

In  the  year  1760,  a  party  of  Indians,  numbering  eight  or  ten, 
crossed  the  Blue  Eidge  and  murdered  a  number  of  people  in  Bedford 
county,  took  several  women  and  children  prisoners  and  returned  by 
way  of  New  river. 

A  man  in  the  New  river  settlement,  while  searching  for  stray 
horses,  discovered  the  Indians  eiicamped  about  six  miles  from  the 
New  river  fort,  of  which  information  was  given  to  William  Inglis, 
who  gathered  sixteen  or  eighteen  men  and  proceeded  to  attack  the 
Indians,  about  daybreak  the  next  morning.  A  considerable  battle 
followed,  in  which  one  white  man  and  seven  Indians  were  killed,  the 
rest  of  the  Indians  making  their  escape.  Capt.  Inglis  and  his  men 
secured  all  the  provisions  and  plunder  of  the  Indians. 

The  western  settlements  for  ten  years  enjoyed  comparative  peace 
from  the  Indians.  The  only  trouble  they  had  to  contend  with  was 
from  parties  of  thieving  Indians  that  occasionally  visited  the  settle- 
ments. The  British  Government  previously  to  1763  claimed  the 
lands  lying  west  of  the  Alleghany  mountains  by  right  of  the  discov- 
ery of  John  Cabot  made  in  1497,  and  at  no  time  recognized  the 
claims  of  the  Indian  inhabitants  to  these  lands. 

In  the  treaty  concluded  with  France  in  1762,  while  France  ceded 
to  England  all  her  rights  in  this  territory,  otill  no  provision  was 
made  for  extinguishing  the  Indian  title  thereto,  and  the  Indians 
denied  the  right  of  France  to  cede  England  these  lands. 

In  March,  1764,  a  company  of  Indians  visited  the  home  of  David 
Cloyd,  about  five  miles  west  of  the  present  Fincastle,  Va.,  and 
tomahawked  Mrs.  Cloyd,  killed  John  Cloyd,  destroyed  the  entire 
household,  and  carried  off  a  large  sum  of  money  that  belonged  to 
David  Cloyd.  Mrs.  Cloyd  lived  until  the  next  morning  and  told 
all  the  circumstances  connected  with  the  raid.  Before  dying  she 
told  how  an  Indian  had  taken  up  a  cob  and  wiped  the  blood  from 
her  temples,  exclaiming  "Poor  old  woman !" 

This  company  of  Indians  were  pursued  by  a  company  of  militia 
under  Capt.  James  Montgomery,  and  one  of  the  Indians  was  killed 
(m  John's  creek  about  thirty  miles  from  Cloyd's  house,  with  £137 
18s.  on  his  person.     A  dispute  arose  among  the  militia  as  to  the 

80  Southwest  Virginia,  17J,6-1786. 

ownership  of  the  money  and  it  was  deposited  in  the  hands  of  Capt. 
James  Montgomery  until  the  matter  should  be  decided. 

We  here  insert  a  copy  of  the  court  records,  which  best  explains 
the  matter. 

In  Augusta  County  Court,  August  Term,  1766. 

David   Cloyd    * Plaintiff, 

vs.                                Recover  goods  taken  by  Indians. 
James  Montgomery,    Defendant. 

We  agree  that  a  party  of  Indians  made  an  Irruption  into  the 
Colony,  attacked  the  Plaintiff's  House,  rifled  it  and  bore  off  up- 
wards of  £200  in  gold  and  silver  and  several  household  goods  and 

We  agree  that  a  party  of  the  militia  pursued  the  enemy  and  over- 
took them  on  John's  creek,  a  branch  of  the  James  river,  at  the  dis- 
tance of  30  or  35  miles  from  the  Plaintiff's  House,  and  attacked 
and  killed  one  of  the  number. 

We  agree  that  upon  searching  the  Indian's  Budgett  a  quantity  of 
gold,  some  dollars  and  pieces  of  small  silver  were  found,  which 
upon  being  weighed  amounted  to  the  sum  of  £137  18s. 

We  agree  that  the  money  found  in  the  budgett  of  the  Indians 
consisted  of  the  same  coins  whicli  the  Plaintiff  was  known  to  have 
in  his  house  when  plundered  by  the  Indians. 

We  agree  that  after  the  money  was  recovered  from  the  Indians  a 
dispute  arose  among  the  militia  to  whom  the  money  of  right  be- 
longed, whether  it  should  be  delivered  to  the  Pltff.  who  was  deeuied 
to  have  been  the  owner  of  it  before  it  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Indiana,  or  whether  the  militia  were  entitled  to  it  as  having  recov- 
ered it  from  them,  upon  which  dispute  that  sum  of  money  was 
lodged  in  the  hands  of  the  Defendant  to  be  by  him  kept  till  that 
point  should  be  settled. 

We  agree  that  the  Plaintiff  made  an  offer  of  30  shillings  to  each 
of  the  men  who  had  assisted  in  the  pursuit  of  the  Enemy. 

We  agree  that  a  part  of  the  Company  of  Militia  made  an  offer 
to  the  Plaintiff  of  delivering  up  his*  negroes  and  household  goods 
if  he  would  allow  them  the  money. 

We  agree  that  the  Defendant  paid  the  sum  of  money  out  of  his 
hands  to  the  Militia  and  that  several  of  them  returned  their  divi- 
dends to  the  Plaintiff  amounting  to  the  sum  of  £106.17.2. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  8l 

We  agree  that  the  Plaintiff  paid  to  several  of  the  captors  who 
returned  him  their  dividends  the  sum  of  30s.  the  premium  by  him 
before  offered  for  their  service. 

We  agree  that  if  the  law  be  for  the  Plaintiff  that  Judgment  be 
entered  for  him  for  the  sum  of  £31.0.10,  if  the  Law  be  for  the 
Defendant  we  agree  that  Judgment  be  entered  for  him. 

Gabriel  Jones^  Atty.  for  Pltff. 
Peter  Hogg^  Atty.  for  Deft. 

We  have  no  further  account  of  Indians  invading  Southwest  Vir- 
ginia, until  the  year  1764,  at  which  time  a  party  of  Indians  came 
up  Sandy  and  on  to  New  river,  where  they  divided,  one  party  go- 
ing towards  the  settlements  at  Roanoke  and  Catawba,  the  other  to 
the  settlement  on  Jackson  river.  The  company  of  Indians  that 
went  towards  the  Eoanoke  settlement  were  accidentally  discovered 
by  Captain  Paul  and  a  company  of  twenty  men,  at  midnight,  on  the 
New  river,  near  the  mouth  of  Indian  creek.  Capt.  Paul's  men  fired 
upon  the  Indians,  killing  three  and  wounding  many  others;  the 
rest  fled  and  escaped.  It  is  hard  to  depict  the  effect  of  these  terri- 
ble scenes  upon  the  settlers  of  Western  Virginia.  iVmong  the  pri- 
soners rescued  by  Capt.  Paul  was  a  Mrs.  Green,  who  knew  Capt. 
Paul  and  recognized  his  voice.  She  was  mistaken  for  an  Indian 
squaw  by  one  of  Capt.  Paul's  men,  who  was  in  the  act  of  tomahawk- 
ing her,  when  she  called  the  name  of  Capt.  Paul,  which  saved  her 

She  was  asked  why  she  made  no  resistance ;  to  which  she  replied, 
"I  would  as  soon  die  as  not;  my  husband  is  murdered,  my  children 
slain,  my  parents  are  dead ;  I  have  not  a  relative  in  America,  every- 
thing dear  to  me  is  gone.  I  have  no  wishes,  no  hopes,  no  fears.  I 
would  not  rise  to  my  feet  to  save  my  life." 

The  English  Government  was  exceedingly  anxious  to  secure  peace 
with  the  Indians,  and  this  year  Col.  Boquet  published  a  royal 
proclamation  forbidding  the  whites  to  settle  or  hunt  west  of  the 
Alleghany  mountains;  which  read  as  follows:  "And  we  do  strictly 
enjoin  and  require  all  persons  whatsoever,  who  have,  either  will- 
fully or  inadvertently,  seated  themselves  upon  any  lands  within  the 
Countries  above  described  (West  of  the  Alleghany  mountains),  or 
upon  any  other  lands  which  not  having  been  ceded  to,  or  purchased 
by  us,  are  still  reserved  to  said  Indians  as  aforesaid,  forthwith  to 

83  Southwest  Virginia,  111^6-1786. 

remove  themselves  from  said  settelments."  This  proclamation  was 
issued  in  October,  17G4,  but  it  failed  to  accomplish  the  object  in 
view,  and  thereupon,  in  the  year  1765,  two  armed  movements  were 
made  into  the  Indian  Territory,  the  one  to  Lake  Erie  and  the  other 
to  the  Muskingum.  Two  treaties  were  made  Avith  the  Indians  in 
the  autumn  of  this  year,  one  at  Niagara  and  the  other  at  the  Mus- 
kingum. The  treaty  signed  at  the  Muskingum  was  negotiated  by 
Col.  Boquet  with  the  Delaware  and  Shawnese  Indians.  At  the 
time  of  the  signing  of  this  treaty.  Col.  Boquet  received  from  the 
Indians  two  hundred  and  six  prisoners,  ninety  Virginians  from 
West  Augusta  and  one  hundred  and  sixteen  Pennsylvanians. 

And  thus  was  concluded  at  the  end  of  ten  years  of  hard  fighting 
the  French-Indian  war,  which  began  in  1754. 

If  the  British  Government  was  candid  in  the  promulgation  of 
the  proclamation  of  1763,  she  thereby  admitted  the  claims  of  the 
Indians,  and  accomplished  nothing  as  a  result  of  the  ten  years'  war 
with  the  French  and  Indians  just  closed. 

After  the  publication  of  this  proclamation,  the  citizens  of  the 
Colonies  became  criminals  when  they,  in  any  way,  trespassed  upon 
any  of  the  lands  on  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi.  Nevertheless, 
the  frontier  hunters  and  the  western  settlers  proceeded  with  their 
explorations  as  if  that  proclamation  had  never  been  issued,  and 
some  historians  go  as  far  as  to  say  that  even  the  leading  public 
men  of  that  day  did  not  consider  this  proclamation  binding,  but  as 
only  intended  to  appease  the  apprehensions  of  the  Indians,  but  in 
this  opinion  we  cannot  join. 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  intention  of  the  proclamation,  it  is 
certain  that  its  effect  was  to  greatly  retard  the  settlements  of  the 
lands  west  of  the  mountains. 

The  "Loyal  Land  Company"  on  the  25th  day  of  May,  1763,  peti- 
tioned the  Governor  and  Council  for  a  renewal  and  confirmation 
of  the  grant  made  to  them  for  800,000  acres  of  land  by  the  Gov- 
ernor and  Council  of  Virginia  in  1749,  but  their  petition  was  de- 
nied, upon  the  ground  that  they  were  restricted  by  his  Majesty's 
instructions  from  renewing  or  confirming  the  grant.  From  this 
action  of  the  Governor  and  Council  of  Virginia,  it  may  be  well 
said,  all  the  surveys  made  upon  the  waters  of  the  Holston  and 
Clinch  rivers  by  James  Patton,  Dr.  Thomas  Walker  and  others, 
and  all  the  patents  issued  therefor  were  void,  for  the  reason  that 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  83 

the  King  of  England  had  no  right  to  grant  to  any  of  his  subjects 
lands  belonging  to  the  Indians. 

Nevertheless,  Dr.  Walker,  agent  for  the  "Loyal  Land  Company," 
and  the  devisees  of  Col.  James  Patton,  immediately  proceeded  to 
survey  and  sell  lands  upon  the  waters  of  the  Holston  and  Clinch 
rivers,  under  their  grants,  as  if  they  had  never  been  restrained 
from  so  doing  by  the  proclamation  of  1763  and  by  the  action  of  the 
Governor  and  Council  of  Virginia,  and  by  the  16th  day  of  Decem- 
ber, 1773,  Dr.  Walker,  as  agent  for  the  "Loyal  Company,"  had 
actually  surveyed  and  disposed  of  to  purchasers  1,756  tracts  of  land 
containing  156,164  acres;  and  this,  in  addition  to  the  lands  sur- 
veyed in  the  years  1753-'54 — making  a  total  of  201,554  acres  out 
of  the  800,000  acres  granted. 

In  the  year  1766,  Dr.  Walker,  as  agent  for  the  "Loyal  Com- 
pany," caused  advertisements  to  be  distributed  through  several 
of  the  States,  north  and  south,  requesting  all  persons  who  had 
contracted  for  any  of  the  company's  land  and  were  driven  off  their 
settlements  in  the  former  war,  to  return  and  claim  the  same  or  it 
would  be  sold  to  others.  The  Legislature  of  Virginia,  in  the  fall 
of  the  year  1778,  confirmed  the  acts  of  Dr.  Walker  in  the  premises 
to  the  extent  stated,  but  declined  to  allow  the  company  any  fur- 
ther time  or  to  survey  any  further  lands  under  this  grant.  At 
the  same  session  of  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  William  Pres- 
ton and  William  Thompson,  executors  of  James  Patton,  deceased, 
were  authorized  to  complete  the  grant  of  120,000  acres  of  land 
made  by  James  Patton,  under  his  grant,  and  to  execute  deeds  to 
the  purchasers  therefor. 

Nathaniel  Gist,  a  noted  Indian  trader,  in  the  year  1761,  pur- 
chased from  the  Cherokee  Indians  the  Great  Island  lying  in  the 
Holston  river,  known  as  Long  Island,  and  claimed  the  same, 
under  his  grant  from  the  Indians,  and  in  the  year  1777  he  peti- 
tioned the  Legislature  of  Virginia  to  confirm  the  title  thereto  to 
him.  What  action  the  Legislature  took  upon  this  petition  cannot 
be  ascertained,  but  it  may  be  presumed  that  the  Legislature  de- 
clined his  request,  as  on  the  24th  day  of  June,  1776,  the  General 
Assembly  of  Virginia,  with  the  approval  of  the  Governor,  "Eesolved, 
That  no  purchase  of  lands  within  the  chartered  limits  of  Virginia 
shall  be  made  under  any  pretense  whatever,  from  any  Indian  tribe 
or  nation,  without  the  approval  of  the  Virginia  Legislature." 

84  Souiliwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-178G. 

This  island  was  a  favorite  resort  of  the  Indians,  and  seemed 
to  have  been  anxiously  sought  after  by  Eichard  Pearis  and  Na- 
thaniel Gist,  probably  two  of  the  best  Indian  spies  and  hunters  we 
read  of  in  our  early  history.  From  the  conclusion  of  the  French- 
Indian  war  in  December,  1764,  until  February  13,  1770,  nothing 
of  importance  occurred  beyond  the  visits  of  the  Long  Hunters  and 
the  surveyors  for  the  land  companies,  a  few  settlements  being 

In  the  year  1765,  John  Campbell,  who  afterwards  became  clerk 
of  the  County  Court  of  Washington  county,  visited  the  waters  of 
the  Holston  with  Dr.  Walker,  and  purchased  for  his  father,  David 
Campbell,  and  himself,  from  John  Buchanan,  a  large  tract  of  land 
near  the  head  waters  of  the  Holston  river,  containing  740  acres, 
called  "Eoyal  Oak,"*  and,  being  the  same  tract  of  land  surveyed 
V   for  John  Buchanan  on  the  14th  day  of  October,  1747. 

Among  the  settlers  that  came  this  year  (1768)  was  Joseph  Mar- 
tin, a  daring  and  enterprising  backwoodsman.  He  was  accom- 
panied by  a  band  of  from  twenty  to  thirty  men,  and  led  them  to 
Powell's  Valley,  now  in  Lee  county,  Ya.,  where  they  erected  a  fort 
upon  the  north  side  of  a  creek,  near  two  fine  springs  of  water, 
which  fort  and  creek  were  thereafter  called  Martin's  Fort  and 
Martin's  Creek.  The  shape  of  the  fort  was  a  parallelogram  which 
enclosed  about  one-half  an  acre  of  ground.  There  were  some  five 
or  six  cabins  built  about  twenty  feet  apart,  with  strong  stockades 
between  them,  and  in  these  stockades  there  were  port-holes.  Here 
they  cleared  the  land  and  planted  corn  and  other  vegetables.  In 
the  latter  part  of  the  summer  of  this  year  the  Indians  broke  them 
up,  and  the  settlers  returned  to  the  waters  of  the  Holston.  Mar- 
tin's Fort  was  not  occupied  after  the  Eevolutionary  War. 

Several  years  thereafter  John  and  Arthur  Campbell,  accom- 
panied by  their  sister,  Margaret,  came  out  and  settled  at  Eoyal 
Oak,  and  in  the  year  1769  David  Campbell,  the  father,  with  his 
wife  and  sons,  James,  David,  Eobert  and  Patrick,  and  his  daugh- 
ters, Mary,  Martha,  Sarah  and  Ann,  came  out  and  settled  at  the 
same  place. 

In  the  year  1766,  a  party  of  hunters  visited  the  Clinch  Valley, 
and  two  of  their  number,  Carr  and  Butler,  decided  to  remain. 
They  built  a  cabin  at  a  place  afterwards  known   as   "Crab   Or- 

*Near  Marion,  Va. 

Southivest  Virginia,  17It-6-1786.  85 

chard,"  about  three  miles  west  of  Tazewell  Courthouse.  In  the 
year  1769,  Carr  separated  from  Butler  and  settled  on  a  beautiful 
piece  of  land  two  miles  east  of  Tazewell  Courthouse. 

While  many  prospective  settlers  visited  this  section  previously 
to  1769,  but  few  permanent  settlements  were  made  because  of  the 
fact  that  the  Indians  claimed,  and  the  English  Government  ad- 
mitted their  right  to  all  the  lands  lying  west  of  the  mountains, 
but  the  frontiers  were  lined  with  prospective  settlers  anxious  for 
an  opportunity  to  take  possession  of  and  settle  the  new  land.  Great 
numbers  of  emigrants  were  impatiently  waiting  along  the  fron- 
tiers for  an  opportunity  to  make  a  rush  for  new  homes  on  the 
waters  of  the  Mississippi. 

The  British  Government  recognized  the  fact  that  it  could  not 
much  longer  restrain  the  people  and  protect  the  Indians  in  their 
rights,  and  early  in  the  spring  of  1768  Sir  William  Johnson  was 
directed  by  the  home  government  to  negotiate  a  treaty  with  the 
Delaware  and  the  Shawnese  Indians.  John  Stuart,  the  superintend- 
ent of  Indian  affairs,  about  the  same  time  was  directed  to  negotiate 
a  treaty  with  the  Southern  Indians,  extinguishing  their  rights  to 
the  much-desired  land.  Sir  William  Johnson,  pursuant  to  order, 
appointed  a  Congress  for  the  meeting  of  the  Six  Rations  with  the 
commissioners  of  Virginia,  Pennsylvania  and  New  Jersey,  at  Port 
Stanwix,  near  Oswego,  ISTew  York,  on  October  24,  1768.  The  Con- 
gress met  pursuant  to  order,  and  on  Kovember  5,  1768,  a  treaty 
was  negotiated  with  the  Indians,  by*  which  they  conveyed  unto  the 
British  Sovereign,  Lord  King  George  III,  all  of  a  certain  tract  of 
land  situated  in  North  Am.erica  at  the  back  of  the  British  settle- 
ments, tlie  deed  being  in  the  words  and  figures  following,  to-wit: 

To  ALL  to  whom  these  presents  may  come,  or  may  concern :  We 
the  Sachems  &  Chiefs  of  the  Six  United  Nations  and  of  the  Shaw- 
nese, Delawares,  Mingoes,  of  Ohio  and  other  dependent  Tribes,  on 
behalf  of  ourselves  and  the  rest  of  our  several  Nations,  the  Chiefs 
and  Warriors  who  are  now  here  convened  by  Sir  William  Johnson, 
Baronet,  His  Majesty's  Superintendent  of  our  Affairs,  send  greet- 
ing. Whereas  His  Majesty  was  graciously  pleased  to  propose  to  us 
in  the  year  1765,  that  a  Boundary  line  should  be  fixed  between  the 
English  and  us,  to  ascertain  and  establish  our  limits  and  prevent 
those  encroachments  of  which  we  have  so  long  and  so  loudly  com- 
plained, and  to  put  a  stop  to  the  many   fraudulent  advantages 

86  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

which  had  been  so  often  taken  of  us  in  Land  affairs,  which  Bound- 
ary appearing  to  us  as  a  wise  and  good  measure,  we  did  then  agree 
to  a  part  of  a  line  and  promised  to  settle  the  whole  finally  whenso- 
ever Sir  Wm.  Johnson  should  be  fully  empowered  to  trade  with  us 
for  that  purpose.  And  whereas  his  said  Majesty  has  at  length  given 
Sir  William  Jolinson  orders,  Sir  William  Johnson  has  convened 
the  Chiefs  and  Warriors  of  our  respective  Nations,  who  are  the  true 
and  absolute  proprietors  of  the  lands  in  question  and  who  are  here 
now  to  a  very  considerable  number,  and  whereas  many  uneasinesses 
and  doubts  have  arisen  amongst  us,  which  have  given  rise  to  appre- 
hension that  the  line  may  not  be  strictly  observed  on  the  part  of 
the  English,  in  which  case  matters  might  be  worse  than  before, 
which  apprehensions  together  with  the  dependent  state  of  some  of 
our  Tribes,  and  other  circumstances  which  retarded  the  settlement 
and  became  the  subject  of  some  debate.  Sir  Wm.  Johnson  has  at 
length  so  far  satisfied  us  as  to  induce  us  to  come  to  an  agreement 
concerning  the  line,  which  brought  to  a  conclusion.  The  whole 
being  explained  to  us  in  a  large  assembly  of  our  people,  and  before 
Sir  William  Johnson,  and  in  the  presence  of  his  Excellency  the 
Governor  of  New  Jersey,  the  Commissioners  for  the  Provinces 
of  Virginia  and  Pennsylvania,  and  sundry  other  gentlemen,  by 
which  line,  so  agreed  upon,  a  considerable  tract  of  country  along 
several  provinces  is  to  be  thus  ceded  to  his  Majesty  which  we  are 
induced  to  and  do  ratify  and  confirm  to  his  said  Majesty,  from  the 
expectation  and  confidence  we  place  in  his  royal  goodness,  and  he 
will  graciously  comply  with  our  humble  request,  as  the  same  is 
expressed  in  the  speech  of  the  several  Nations  addressed  to  his  Ma- 
jesty through  Sir  William  Johnson,  on  Tuesday  the  first  of  the  pres- 
ent month  of  November,  wherein  we  have  declared  our  expectations 
of  the  continuance  of  his  Majesty's  favor,  and  our  desire  that  our 
ancient  engagements  be  observed  and  our  affairs  attended  to  by 
the  officer  who  has  the  management  thereof,  enabling  him  to  dis- 
charge all  these  matters  propefly  for  our  interest.  That  the  land_s 
occupied  by  the  Mohocks  around  their  villages,  as  well  as  by  any 
other  Nation  affected  by  this  our  cession,  may  effectually  remain 
to  them  and  to  their  posterity,  and  that  any  engagements  regard- 
ing property  that  they  may  now  be  under,  may  be  prosecuted  and 
our  present  grants  deemed  valid  on  our  parts,  with  the  several  other 
humble  requests  contained  in  our  speech.    And  whereas  at  the  set- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  87 

tling  of  the  said  line,  it  appears  that  the  line  described  by  his 
Majesty's  order,  was  not  extended  Northward  of  Oswego,  or  to 
the  Southward  of  Great  Kanawha  Eiver,  we  have  agreed  to  con- 
tinue the  line  to  the  Northward,  on  the  supposition  that  it  was  omit- 
ted by  reason  of  our  not  having  come  to  any  determination  con- 
cerning its  course  at  the  Congress  held  in  1765,  inasmuch  as  the 
"line  to  the  Northward  became  the  most  necessary  of  any  for  pre- 
venting the  encroachments  at  our  very  towns  and  residences,  and 
we  have  given  this  line  more  favorable  to  Pennsylvania  for  the 
reasons  and  considerations  mentioned  in  the  treaty.  We  have  like- 
wise continued  it  South  to  Cherokee  River,"*  because  the  same  is 
and  we  do  declare  it  to  be  our  true  bounds  with  the  Southern  In- 
dians, and  that  we  have  undoubted  right  to  the  country  as  far  south 
as  that  River,  which  makes  our  cession  to  his  Majesty  much  more 
advantageous  than  that  proposed. 

Now  THEREFOKE  KNOW  YE,  that  we,  the  Sachems  and  Chiefs 
beforementioned,  native  Indians  and  proprietors  of  the  lands  here- 
inafter described,  for  and  in  behalf  of  ourselves  and  the  whole  of 
our  Confederacy,  for  the  consideration  hereinbefore  mentioned 
and  also  for  and  in  consideration  of  a  valuable  present  of  the  sev- 
eral articles  in  use  and  among  the  Indians,  which,  together  with  a 
large  sum  of  money,  amounting  in  the  whole  to  the  sum  of  £10,460 
7s  3  pence,  sterling,  to  us  now  delivered  and  paid  by  Sir  William 
Johnson,  Baronet,  his  Majesty's  Sole  Agent  and  Superintendent  of 
Indian  Affairs,  for  the  Northern  Department  of  America,  in  the 
name  and  on  behalf  of  our  Sovereign  Lord,  George  Third,  by  the 
grace  of  God,  of  Great  Britain,  France,  and  Ireland,  King,  De- 
fender of  the  Faith,  the  receipt  whereof  we  do  hereby  acknowledge, 
we  the  said  Indians  have  for  us,  our  heirs  and  successors,  granted, 
bargained,  sold,  released  and  confirmed,  and  by  these  presents,  do 
grant,  bargain,  sell,  release  and  confirm,  unto  our  said  Sovereign 
Lord,  King  George  Third,  all  that  tract  of  land  situated  in  North 
America  at  the  back  of  the  British  settlements  bounded  by  a  line 
which  we  have  now  agreed  upon,  and  do  hereby  establish  as  the 
boundary  between  us  and  the  British  Colonies  in  America,  begin- 
ning at  the  mouth  of  the  Cherokee  or  Hogohegee  River,  where  it 
empties  into  the  River  Ohio,  and  running  from  thence  along  the 
Southern  side  of  the  said  River  to  Kittanning,  which  is  above  Fort 

*Holston  river. 

88  Southtvest  Virginia,,  17JfG-17S0. 

Pitt,  from  thence  by  a  direct  line  to  the  nearest  fork  of  the  West 
Branch  of  the  Susquehanna,  thence  through  the  Alleghany  Moun- 
tains along  the  Southern  side  of  the  said  West  Branch  until  it 
comes  opposite  to  the  mouth  of  a  creek  called  Tiadgton,  thence 
across  the  West  Branch,  and  along  the  South  Side  of  that 
creek  and  along  the  North  side  of  the  Burnett  Hills  to  a  creek 
called  Awandae,  thence  down  the  same  to  the  East  side  of  that 
Eiver  to  Oswego,  from  thence  East  to  the  Delaware  Kiver,  and  up 
that  Eiver  to  opposite  where  Tianadhera  flows  into  the  Susquehanna, 
thence  to  Tianahedra  and  up  the  West  side  thereof,  and  the  West 
side  of  its  West  Branch  to  the  head  thereof,  and  thence  by  a  direct 
line  to  Canada  Creek,  where  it  empties  into  the  Wood  Creek  at  the 
West  End  of  the  carrying  place,  beyond  Fort  Stanwix,  and  extend- 
ing Eastward  from  every  part  of  the  said  line  as  far  as  the  lands 
formerly  purchased  so  as  to  comprehend  the  whole  of  the  lands  or 
settlement,  except  what  is  within  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania,  to- 
gether with  the  hereditaments,  and  appurtenances  to  the  same  be- 
longing or  appertaining  in  tlie  fullest  and  most  ample  manner, 
and  all  the  Estate,  Eight,  Title,  Interest,  Property,  possession, 
Benefit  and  claim  and  demand,  either  in  law  or  equity,  of  each  and 
every  one  of  us,  in  and  of  the  same,  or  any  part  thereof,  to  liave  and 
to  hold,  the  whole  lands  and  premises  hereby  granted,  bargained, 
sold,  released  and  confirmed  as  aforesaid  with  the  hereditaments 
and  appurtenances  thereunto  belonging,  under  the  reservations 
made  in  the  Treaty,  unto  our  Sovereign  Lord,  King  George  Third, 
his  heirs  and  successors  to  and  for  his  and  their  behoof  forever. 

In  witness  whereof,  we  the  Chiefs  of  the  Confederacy,  have 
hereunto  set  our  marks  and  seals  at  Fort  Stanwix,  the  5th  day  of 
November,  1768,  in  the  9th  year  of  his  Majesty's  reign. 

Signed,  Sealed  and  delivered. 

In  presence  of 

Sir  William  Franklin,  Gov.  N.  J. 

Fred  Smith,  Chief  Justice, 

Thos.  Walker,  Commiss'r  from  Va. 

Eichard  Peters,      )       of  the  Council, 
James  Tilghman,  j 

Texanasore,  or  Abraham,  [L.  S.] 









Blunt  or  Chenngliita, 









[L.  S.] 

[L.  S.] 

[L.  S.] 

[L.  S.] 

[L.  S.] 

This  Congress  was  attended  by  3,200  Indians  of  the  different 
tribes  composing  the  Six  Nations,  and  thns  the  title  of  the  North- 
ern Indians  to  all  the  territory  included  within  Washington  coun- 
ty was  extinguished. 

The  Confederacy  of  the  Six  Nations  claimed,  by  right  of  con- 
quest, title  to  the  lands  thus  ceded.  About  the  year  1685  this  Con- 
federacy of  Indians  overran  and  conquered  all  the  country  south- 
wards from  the  Ohio  as  far  south  as  Georgia  and  as  far  west  as  the 
Mississippi.  An  immense  territory,  1,300  miles  long  and  600  miles 

It  will  be  observed  from  an  inspection  of  this  deed  that  Dr. 
Thomas  Walker  was  the  Virginia  Commissioner  at  this  Congress, 
and  he  was  beyond  question  interested  in  the  successful  negotiation 
of  this  treaty,  not  only  in  behalf  of  Virginia,  but  to  a  greater 
extent  in  behalf  of  the  "Loyal  Land  Company,"  of  which  he  was  a 
part  owner  and  the  agent.  Nothing  was  of  greater  importance  to  the 
"Loyal  Land  Company"  than  the  extinguishment  of  the  title  of  the 
Indians  to  the  lands  on  the  western  waters,  out  of  which  they  had 
a  grant  for  800,000  acres  of  land,  and  from  the  prosecution  of  their 
work  in  surveying,  settling  and  selling  the  same,  they  had  been  re- 

90  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

strained  and  prohibited  by  the  King's  proclamation  in  17G3,  and 
by  the  action  of  the  Governor  and  the  Council  of  Virginia. 

About  the  same  time  John  Stuart,  Superintendent  of  Indian 
Affairs  in  the  South,  concluded  a  treaty  with  the  Cherokee  Indians 
in  the  absence  of  Dr.  Walker,  by  which  the  British  Crown  acquired 
the  right  to  all  the  land  lying  east  of  a  straight  line  passing  by 
Chiswell's  mine,  on  the  eastern  bank  of  the  Great  Kanawha*  Eiver, 
and  from  Chiswell's  mine  on  the  eastern  bank  of  the  river  in  a 
straight  line  to  the  confluence  of  the  Great  Conhoway  in  Ohio. 
The  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  communicated  the  result  of 
the  treaty  to  the  Governor  of  Virginia  by  letter,  which  letter  is 
as  follows: 

Hard  Labor,  Oct.  17,  1768. 

I  have  the  honor  to  acquaint  you  in  obedience  to  his  Majesty's 
commands,  on  the  13th  curr't,  I  met  at  this  place  all  the  principal 
Chiefs  of  the  upper  and  lower  Cherokee  Nations,  and  on  the  14th 
by  his  Majesty's  royal  authority  concluded  the  Treaty  with  said 
Indians,  ratifying  the  cession  of  land  lying  within  the  Provinces  of 
South  Carolina,  North  Carolina  and  Virginia  by  them  to  his  Ma- 
jesty and  His  heirs  forever,  and  confirming  the  Boundary  line 
marked  by  the  Lords  Commissioners  of  Trade  and  Plantations,  ac- 
cording to  the  several  agreements  entered  into  with  said  Indians. 
The  line  now  ultimately  confirmed  and  ratified  by  said  Treaty  was 
as  follows: 

Prom  the  place  called  Towahilie,  on  the  Northern  Branch  of  the 
Savannah  Eiver,  a  North  50  degrees  East  course  in  a  straight  line, 
to  a  place  called  Dewisses  corner,  or  yellow  water,  from  Dewisses, 
or  yellow  water,  a  North  50  degrees  East  course  in  a  straight  line  to 
the  south  bank  of  Eeedy  Elver,  at  a  place  called  Wanghoe,  or  Elm 
Tree,  where  the  line  behind  Carolina  terminates.  From  a  place 
called  Wanghoe,  or  Elm  Tree,  to  the  South  Bank  of  Eeedy  Eiver,  a 
course  in  a  straight  line  to  a  mountain  called  Tagon  Mountain  where 
the  great  ridge  of  the  mountains  becomes  impervious.  In  a  straight 
line  to  Chiswell's  mine  on  the  Eastern  Bank  of  the  Great  Conhoway 
Eiver,  to  a  N.  B.  E.  course,  and  from  Chiswell's  mine  on  the  East- 
ern Bank  of  the  Great  Conhoway  in  a  straight  line  to  a  North  course 

*New  River. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  91 

to  the  confluence  of  the  Great  Conhoway  with  the  Ohio.  As  soon 
as  possible  after  my  return  to  Charlestown  I  shall  send  you  extracts 
of  my  conference  and  an  authentic  copy  of  the  above  mentioned 
Treaty  concluded  with  said  Chiefs.  I  acquainted  the  Chiefs  that  I 
expected  their  Deputies  to  set  out  immediately  from  this  place 
with  my  Deputy  to  meet  your  Commissioners  at  Colonel  Chis- 
well's  Mine  in  order  to  finish  marking  the  Boundary  line,  as  agreed 
upon,  but  they  objected,  and  desired  that  that  service  might  be  de- 
ferred till  the  spring  of  next  year.  The  reasons  they  urged  for 
this  delay  are  as  follows :  That  when  they  set  the  10th  of  Novem- 
ber for  the  time  of  meeting  your  Commissioners  to  proceed  upon 
that  important  service,  they  understood  that  they  had  no  more  to 
mark  than  from  the  mountains  where  the  line  behind  North  Caro- 
lina was,  to  Chiswell's  Mine  on  the  Conhoway,  as  they  considered 
the  river  from  there  to  its  confluence  with  the  Ohio  as  a  natural 
Boundary.  But  as  the  line  is  to  run  in  a  straight  line,  almost  due 
North  from  the  Mine,  to  the  mouth  of  the  river,  the  advanced 
season  of  the  year  will  render  that  service  impracticable  until  the 
Spring,  as  the  line  now  ultimately  agreed  upon  runs  through  a 
large  extent  of  mountainous  country,  uninhabited,  where  in  the 
winter  the  cold  will  be  extremely  intense,  and  there  will  be  no  shel- 
ter for  men,  nor  food  for  horses  at  that  season.  The  reasons  ap- 
peared to  me  so  just  and  good,  that  I  was  obliged  to  acquiesce  in 
them,  and  I  send  this  letter  by  Express  to  prevent,  as  much  as  pos- 
sible, any  disappointment  that  may  result  from  this  alteration.  I 
hope  you  will  receive  it  in  time  to  prevent  your  Commissioners 
from  setting  out.  The  Chiefs  have  appointed  the  10th  of  May  next 
for  meeting  your  Commissioners  at  Chiswell's  Mine,  which  I  hope 
will  prove  agreeable  and  their  reasons  for  altering  the  time  satis- 
factory to  you.  I  reproached  the  Cherokees  severely  for  the  mur- 
der of  flve  emigrants  from  your  provinces,  who  were  going  to  the 
Mississippi,  which  was  committed  in  the  summer  last.  They  con- 
fessed it  and  said  the  perpetrators  were  a  party,  of  Chilhowie  peo- 
ple who  urged  in  their  own  defence,  that  their  relations  had  been 
killed  in  Augusta  County,  in  the  province,  in  1765,  for  which  they 
had  never  received  any  satisfaction  although  repeated  promises 
had  been  made  either  of  putting  the  guilty  persons  to  death,  or 
making  a  compensation  in  goods  from  your  province,  which  they 
believed,  because  I  had  confirmed  them.     That  they  nevertheless 

92  Southivest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

were  disappointed,  and  being  tired  with  waiting,  took  that  satis- 
faction which  they  could  not  obtain  from  our  justice.  All  the 
warriors  declared  that  they  disapproved  of  the  action,  but  that  the 
Chilhowie  people  were  authorized  by  the  custom  of  their  country  to 
act  as  they  did,  and  their  idea  of  never  having  received  any  satisfac- 
tion was  undeniable ;  that  in  any  other  instance  nothing  should  pre- 
vent their  executing  strict  justice  according  to  Treaties.  It  is 
not  only  extremely  disagreeable  to  myself,  but  very  detrimental  to 
his  Majesty's  service,  to  be  obliged  to  fail  in  any  promise  I  make 
to  Indians.  The  compensation  of  500  Indian  dressed  Deer  skins 
value  in  goods  for  every  person  murdered,  which  on  the  faith  of 
Gov.  Fauquier's  repeated  letters,  I  engaged  them  to  receive,  early  in 
the  Spring,  was  extremely  moderate,  and  this  you  will  acknowledge 
if  you  will  compare  it  with  the  sum  expended  by  the  Province  of 
Pennsylvania,  on  a  late  similar  occasion.  And  I  must  confess  that 
this  disappointment  will  render  me  extremely  cautious  in  making 
promises  on  any  future  occasion. 

I  am  to  meet  the  Chiefs  of  the  Upper  and  Lower  Creek  Nations 
at  Silver  Bluff  on  Savannah  Eiver,  the  first  of  November,  to  ratify 
the  cessions  to  his  Majesty  in  the  two  Floridas  and  Georgia,  and 
expect  to  be  at  Charlestown  by  the  time  the  bearer  can  return  there. 

I  have  the  honor  of  being,  very  respected  Sir, 
Your  most  obedient  and  very  humble  servant, 

John  Stuart. 

It  will  be  observed  from  a  perusal  of  the  above  letter  that  the 
superintendent  contemplated  the  running  of  the  line,  as  fixed  by 
the  treaty,  immediately,  but  the  Indians  insisted  upon  postponing 
the  time  for  running  this  line  till  the  10th  day  of  May,  1769. 

This  treaty  gave  great  dissatisfaction  to  the  Colony  of  Virginia 
and  to  Dr.  Walker,  the  agent  for  the  "Loyal  Land  Company,"  for, 
at  the  time  the  treaty  was  negotiated,  hundreds  of  settlers  had  fixed 
their  homes  on  the  lands  west  of  the  line  as  fixed,  and  not  only  had 
many  settlers  occupied  portions  of  these  lands,  but  Dr.  Walker  as 
agent  for  the  "Loyal  Land  Company,"  and  Col.  James  Patton's 
representatives,  had  actually  surveyed  and  sold  large  and  numer- 
ous tracts  of  land  lying  in  the  present  counties  of  Pulaski,  Wythe, 
Smyth  f^nd  Washington,  and  west  of  the  line  fixed  by  this  treaty. 
The  result  of  this  treaty  gave  the  Indians  an  excuse  for  depredating 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  93 

on  the  settlers,  and  the  settlers  were  forced  to  the  necessity  of 
denying  the  rights  of  the  Cherokee  Indians  to  the  lands  thus  set- 

The  settlers  on  Holston  denied  the  right  of  the  Cherokees  to  the 
lands  included  within  this  county,  and  under  the  claim  that  the 
lands  belonged  to  the  Confederacy  of  the  Six  Nations,  they  held 
possession  of  their  lands  and  continued  their  settlements.  Dr. 
Thomas  Walker  acted  as  the  Virginia  representative  in  the  mak- 
ing of  the  treaty  at  Fort  Stanwix  in  the  fall  of  the  year  1768  and, 
by  December  of  that  year,  had  communicated  the  result  to  the 
emigrants  along  the  borders,  and  no  longer  could  the  settlement  of 
this  country  be  postponed.  In  the  winter  of  1768  and  the  early 
part  of  the  year  1769,  a  great  flood  of  settlers  overran  Southwestern 
Virginia  and  advanced  as  far  south  as  Boone's  Creek  in  East  Ten- 

The  one  settler  who  ventured  farthest  into  the  wilderness  was 
Captain  William  Bean,  who,  with  his  family,  settled  on  Boone's 
Creek,  early  in  the  year  1769.  His  son,  Russell  Bean,  was  the  first 
white  child  1)orn  in  Tennessee. 

When  Col.  William  Byrd  visited  the  Long  Island  in  1760,  two 
men,  by  name  Gilbert  Christian  and  William  Anderson,  accompa- 
nied his  regiment.  In  this  year,  1769,  Christian  and  Anderson  de- 
termined to  explore  this  western  wilderness,  and,  in  company  with 
Col.  John  Sawyers  and  four  others,  they  crossed  the  North  Fork 
of  the  Holston  river  at  Cloud's  Fort  in  Tennessee  and  explored  the 
wilderness  as  far  as  Big  Creek,  now  a  part  of  Hawkins  county, 
where  they  met  a  large  body  of  Indians,  at  which  point  they  deter- 
mined to  return  to  their  homes. 

About  twenty  miles  above  Cloud's  Fort,  on  the  North  Fork, 
they  found  a  cabin  on  every  spot  where  the  range  was  good,  where 
only  six  weeks  before  nothing  was  to  be  seen  but  a  howling  wilder- 
ness. When  they  passed  by  before,  on  their  outward  destination, 
they  found  no  settlers  on  Holston,  save  three  families  on  the  head 
springs  of  that  river. 

Just  preceding  this  inrush  of  settlers,  a  young  Englishman  by 
the  name  of  Smith  visited  this  section  of  Virginia  and  describes 
the  country,  as  he  found  it,  in  such  an  excellent  manner  that  I 
here  copy  in  full  his  remarks  upon  the  appearance  of  the  country, 
as  well  as  the  daily  journal  which  he  kept.    When  he  had  reached 

94  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

the  summit  of  the  mountains  above  New  river,  he  thus  speaks  of 
the  view  presented : 

"Language  fails  in  attempting  to  describe  this  most  astounding 
and  almost  unbounded  prospective.  The  mind  was  filled  with  a 
reverential  awe,  but  at  the  same  time  the  ideas,  and  I  had  almost 
said  soul,  were  sensibly  enlarged.  The  reflection  on  our  own  little- 
ness did  not  diminish  our  intellectual  faculties  nor  consequences, 
and  the  mind  would  boldly  soar  over  the  vast  extent  of  the  earth 
and  water  around,  and  even  above  the  globe  itself,  to  contemplate 
and  admire  the  amazing  works  of  the  great  Creator  of  all. 

In  short,  the  strong,  mighty,  pointed  and  extended  sensations  of 
the  mind  at  this  astonishing  period  are  far  beyond  the  power  of 
human  language  to  describe  or  convey  any  idea  of. 

On  the  northwest  you  will  observe  with  great  astonishment  and 
pleasure  the  tremendous  and  abrupt  break  in  the  Alleghany  moun- 
tains, through  which  pass  the  mighty  waters  of  New  river  and  the 
Great  Kanawha. 

On  the  west  you  can  very  plainly  discover  the  three  forks  or 
branches  of  the  Holston,  where  they  break  through  the  great  Al- 
leghany mountains,  forming  striking  and  awful  chasms. 

And  still  beyond  them  you  may  observe  Clinch  river,  or  Pelli- 
sippi;  that  it  is  almost  equal  to  all  three  branches  of  the  Holston. 
Throughout  the  whole  of  this  amazing  and  most  extensive  per- 
spective there  is  not  the  least  feature  or  trace  of  art  or  improve- 
ments to  be  discovered. 

All  are  the  genuine  effects  of  nature  alone,  and  laid  down  on  her 
most  extended  and  grandest  scale. 

Contemplating  them  fills  the  eye,  engrosses  the  mind  and  en- 
larges the  soul.  It  totally  absorbs  the  senses,  overwhelms  all  the 
faculties,  expands  even  the  grandest  ideas  beyond  all  conception 
and  causes  you  almost  to  forget  that  5'^ou  are  a  human  creature." 

He  then  proceeds  to  give  the  details  of  his  journey  through  this 
section  of  Virginia : 

"We  descended  the  moimtain,  and  halted  for  the  night  on  the 
side  of  a  large  rivulet,  which  we  conjectured  to  be  either  Little 
river  itself,  or  some  of  the  waters  of  it,  having  crossed  the  Blue 
ridge  at  a  most  disagreeable  and  dangerous  gap  in  the  afternoon. 

Next  morning  we  set  out  early  and  traveled  down  the  north  side 

Soufhwest  Virginia,  17ji.6-1786.  95 

of  the  rivulet,  which  we  found  to  be  Little  river,  until  we  arrived 
at  New  river  and  at  last  came  to  the  ford. 

The  New  river  is  broad,  deep  and  rapid,  frequently  impassable 
and  always  dangerous. 

However,  we  crossed  it  in  safety,  though  with  great  difficulty  and 
hazard  of  being  carried  down  with  the  stream,  and  we  looked  out 
for  a  convenient  spot  on  the  west  side,  where  we  now  are,  to  re- 
main for  the  night.  The  low  ground  on  New  river  is  narrow,  but 
exceedingly  rich  and  fertile ;  the  high  land  is  also  very  fine  in  many 
places,  but  excessively  broken,  rocky  and  mountainous. 

The  timber  on  the  high  land  is  very  large  and  lofty,  and  that  on 
the  low  ground  is  almost  equal  to  the  prodigious  heavy  trees  on  the 
Eoanoke  river. 

The  extreme  roughness  of  this  country  and  the  diflSculty  of  ac- 
cess to  it,  the  roads,  or  rather  paths,  being  not  only  almost  impas- 
sable, but  totally  impossible  ever  to  be  rendered  even  tolerable  by 
any  human  efl^orts,  will  not  only  greatly  retard  the  settlement  of 
this  country,  but  will  always  reduce  the  price  and  value  of  the  land, 
be  it  ever  so  rich  and  fertile. 

In  the  morning  our  horses  and  ourselves  being  very  much  re- 
freshed, we  set  out  again  on  our  journey,  and,  after  traveling  ten 
or  twelve  miles,  crossed  a  pretty  large  water  course  named  Peaks' 
creek,  and  soon  afterwards  a  large  branch  of  Eeed  creek. 

In  the  afternoon  we  crossed  another  great  ridge  of  the  Alleghany 
mountains  at  a  gap,  and  in  the  evening  came  to  the  waters  of 
the  Middle  Fork  of  the  Holston,  where  we  halted  for  the  night, 
having  traveled  this  day  nearly  fifty  miles  and  over  a  vast  quan- 
tity of  excellent  land. 

Next  morning  we  pursued  our  journey  and  traveled  down  the 
side  of  the  Middle  Fork  of  the  Holston,  which  we  crossed  no  less 
than  three  times  this  day,  and  at  night  came  to  Stalnaker's,  where 
a  few  people,  indeed  all  the  inhabitants,  had  also  erected  a  kind  of 
wretched  stockade  fort  for  protection  against  the  Indians ;  but  they 
had  all  left  it  a  few  days  before  our  arrival  and  returned  to  their 
respective  homes. 

Here  we  remained  for  two  days  at  the  old  Dutchman's  house 
for  rest  and  refreshment  for  ourselves  and  horses,  which  we  had 
really  very  much  need  of,  and  also  to  make  inquiry  concerning 
our  future  route. 

96  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

The  land  on  the  Holston  is  certainly  excellent  and  fertile  in  the 
highest  degree;  the  climate  also  is  delightful. 

But  the  value  of  the  estates  here  cannot  be  considerable  for  many 
years — perhaps  centuries  to  come;  for  the  same  roughness  that  has 
been  mentioned  to  affect  those  on  New  river. 

Here  we  gained  intelligence  of  a  nearer  way  to  Kentucky  than 
that  commonly  made  use  of,  which  had  very  lately  been  discovered, 
viz. :  by  crossing  Clinch  river  about  sixty  miles  from  Stalnaker's, 
going  over  the  great  ridge  of  the  Alleghany,  or  Appalachian  moun- 
tains, at  a  gap  which  had  been  used  only  by  a  few  of  the  best  hunters, 
and  falling  down  on  the  waters  of  the  Warrior's  branch,  a  river 
that  runs  into  Kentucky.  With  this  route  pretty  exactly  laid  down, 
we  set  out  from  the  Dutchman's  house  on  the  third  morning  after 
our  arrival,  and,  after  traveling  over  a  vast  quantity  of  exceedingly 
strong,  rich  land  covered  with  lofty  timber,  we  reached  the  banks 
of  the  Nortli  Branch  of  the  Holston,  crossed  the  river,  and  put  up 
for  the  night,  having  traveled  that  day  more  than  thirty  miles. 

The  ford  of  this  branch  of  the  Holston  is,  if  possible,  worse  than 
any  we  have  hitherto  met  with,  and  is  indeed  extremely  dangerous, 
but  we  were  so  familiarized  to  danger  and  fatigue  as  to  regard  any- 
thing of  that  nature  but  little. 

On  the  next  morning  we  set  out  on  our  journey  by  the  route 
which  we  had  been  directed  to  pursue,  and  at  noon  arrived  at  the 
summit  of  a  vast  chain  of  mountains  which  separates  the  north 
branch  of  the  Holston  from  the  Clinch  river. 

Here  we  had  the  pleasure  of  enjoying  an  extensive,  wild  and 
romantic  view,  particularly  that  stupendous  ridge  of  the  Alleghany, 
or  Appalachian  mountains,  which  is  the  chief  and  most  lofty  of 
the  whole. 

It  was  rendered  more  interesting  to  me  by  reflecting  that  I  must 
cross  it  on  my  journey,  our  route  being  directly  over  it.  We  made 
no  unnecessary  delay,  however,  on  this  commanding  spot,  but  de- 
scended the  mountain  and  pursued  with  all  the  expedition  we 
could ;  and  we  arrived  on  the  banks  of  Clinch  river  late  that  even- 
ing, so  that  we  could  not  venture  to  cross  the  ford  that  night. 

In  the  morning  we  undertook  the  hazardous  task  of  fording 
Clinch  river,  and  accomplished  it  after  several  plunges,  as  usual, 
over  our  heads:  neither  did  we  halt  to  dry  our  clothes  until  noon, 
when  we  rested  at  the  side  of  a  savannah  (meadow) ;  here  we  re- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  97 

mained  for  two  hours,  and  then  arose  exceeding!}^  refreshed,  and 
jnirsned  our  journey. 

On  the  evening  we  had  reached  half  way  up  the  stupendous  west- 
ernmost ridge  of  the  Alleghany  mountains,  the  last,  greatest  and 
loftiest  of  the  whole. 

Here  we  remained  all  night,  concluding  to  attempt  the  steepest 
and  most  difficult  ascent  in  the  morning.  We  always  alighted,  and 
led  our  horses  up  these  jjrodigious  and  perilous  ascents. 

We  pursued  our  journey  up  the  mountain  next  morning,  hut  the 
sun  was  several  hours  high  before  we  could  possibly  reach  the  sum- 

This  ridge  of  the  Alleghany  mountains  is  indeed  of  a  most  stu- 
pendous and  astonishing  height,  and  conunands  a  prospect  propor- 
tionately extensive. 

I  took  a  retrospective  view,  with  satisfaction  and  pleasure,  of  the 
vast  chain  of  mountains  beyond  Clinch  river,  which  I  had  crossed, 
and  I  looked  forward,  with  interested  anxiety  and  eagerness,  toward 
the  great  ridge  of  mountains  which  I  had  still  to  pass  over. 

The  summit  of  this  ridge  is  the  most  lofty  of  all  the  Alleghany, 
is  nearly  a  mile  wide,  and  consists  of  excellent  strong,  rich  land 
of  a  deep  red  or  a  dark  reddish-brown  color,  with  very  large,  tall 
timber;  and  there  are  springs  of  water  almost  on  the  very  summit 
of  the  mountains.  When  we  rested  that  night  we  were  on  the 
waters  of  Warrior's  branch." 

We  give  no  more  of  this  diary,  for  our  traveler  has  now  passed 
beyond  the  limits  of  the  original  bounds  of  W^ashington  county. 

The  Governor  of  Virginia,  upon  the  receipt  of  the  letter  from 
John  Stuart,  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs,  immediately  set 
about  to  undo  what  had  been  done  by  the  treaty  at  Hard  Labor, 
S.  C.  He  thereupon  commissioned  Colonel  Andrew  Lewis  and  Dr. 
Thomas  Walker  to  visit  the  Indians  and  secure  a  new  line  from 
them.  On  the  5th  day  of  January,  1769,  they  began  their  journey 
t(y&(f^^  Carolina  for  the  purpose  of  seeing  the  Indians  and  nego- 
tiating with  them.  Dr.  Walker  and  Colonel  Lewis  returned  to  their 
homes  in  the  month  of  February  and  made  a  report  to  Lord  Bote- 
tourt, which  report  we  here  copy  in  full,  as  it  is  very  interesting, 
and  explains  fully  what  was  done : 

My  Lord, — On  receiving  your  Excellency's  instructions,  we  be- 

98  Southwest  Virginia,  1H6-1786. 

gan  our  journey  to  Charlestown,  South  Carolina;  on  the  fifth  day 
of  January,  we  waited  on  his  Excellency,  William  Tryon,  Esq.,  at 
Brunswick,  by  whom  we  were  kindly  received  and  promised  all  the 
assistance  in  his  power ;  on  the  next  day  we  went  to  Fort  Johnson, 
near  the  mouth  of  Cape  Fear  Eiver. 

On  the  8th,  Gov.  Tryon  wrote  us  that  some  Cherokee  Indians 
were  at  Brunswick,  that  Judds  Friend  and  Salue,  or  the  Young 
warrior  of  Estitoe,  were  two  of  them,  and  that  they  would  wait  up 
at  Fort  Jolmston.  His  Excellency  was  again  invited  to  go  with 
them.  On  their  arrival  we  informed  them  we  were  going  to  their 
father,  John  Stuart,  Esq.,  on  business  relative  to  the  Nation,  and 
should  be  glad  to  have  their  company,  and  they  readily  agreed  to 
come  with  us.  On  the  9th  the  ofiicer  we  had  engaged  was  ready  to 
sail,  and  we  embarked  with  the  two  Cherokee  Chiefs,  two  Squaws 
and  an  Interpreter.  On  the  11th,  we  waited  on  Mr.  Stuart,  de- 
livered your  Lordship's  letter  and  full  information  of  our  business. 

In  answer  Mr.  Stuart  told  us  that  the  Boundary  between  the 
Cherokees  and  Virginia  was  fully  settled  and  ratified  in  Great 
Britain,  and  that  any  proposal  of  that  kind  would  be  very  alarming 
to  them,  but  after  some  time  agreed  that  we  might  mention  it  to 
them,  which  we  did  on  the  13th  of  Jan'y.  The  Indian  Chiefs  ap- 
peared much  pleased,  and  agreed  to  wait  on  Mr.  Stuart  with  us,  and 
in  his  presence,  Judds  Friend  spoke  as  follows : 

Father, — On  an  invitation  from  Governor  Tryon,  we  left  our 
country  some  time  since;  Our  two  elder  Brothers,  Col.  Lewis  and 
Doctor  Walker,  from  Virginia,  who  had  matters  of  importance  to 
mention  to  us,  that  equally  concerned  our  people  as  well  as  theirs. 
His  news  gave  us  great  joy,  and  we  lost  no  time  in  waiting  on  them, 
and  with  great  pleasure  took  passage  with  them  in  order  to  wait 
on  you  on  the  business  which  was  much  concerning  us,  as  well  as 
their  people,  and  to  convince  you  that  we  like  their  talk,  we  now  take 
them  by  the  hand  giving  them  a  welcome,  and  present  them  with 
this  string  of  Wampum. 

Father, — They  tell  us  that  by  running  the  line  lately  mentioned, 
as  a  boundary  between  our  people  and  Virginia,  a  great  number  of 
their  people  will  fall  within  the  bounds  of  our  country,  which 
would  greatly  distress  these  our  poor  Brothers;  which  is  far  from 
our  intention.  And  to  evidence  to  you,  that  we  are  on  all  occasions, 
willing  to  testify  our  brotherly  affection  towards  them,  we  are 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  99 

heartily  willing  to  join  in  any  such  negotiations  as  may  be  thought 
necessary  and  most  expedient  for  fixing  a  new  Boundary,  that  may 
include  all  those  people  settled  in  our  lands  in  the  bounds  of  Vir- 
ginia, and  we  now  give  them  in  the  presence  of  you  our  Father,  this 
string  of  Wampum  as  an  assurance  that  those  people  shall  remain 
in  peaceable  possession  of  those  lands,  until  a  treaty  is  held  for  fix- 
ing a  new  Boundary,  between  them  and  our  people. 

Gives  a  string  of  Wampum. 

We  then  delivered  the  following  Talk  to  the  Warriors,  to  be  by 
them  communicated  to  their  Nation. 

To  the  Chiefs  of  the  CheroTcees: 

Brothers, — On  the  20th  day  of  December  last,  being  in  Williams- 
burg, we  received  instructions  from  Lord  Botetourt,  a  great  and 
good  man,  whom  the  great  King  George  has  sent  to  preside  over  his 
Colony  of  Virginia,  directing  us  to  wait  on  your  father,  John  Stu- 
art, Esq.,  Supt.  Indian  Affairs,  in  order  to  have  a  plan  agreed 
upon  for  fixing  a  new  Boundary  between  your  people  and  his 
Majesty's  subjects  in  the  Colony  of  Virginia.  On  our  way  to  the 
place,  to  our  great  joy,  we  met  with  our  good  brothers,  Judds 
Friend  and  the  Warrior  of  Estitoe,  who  with  great  readiness  took 
a  passage  with  us  from  Governor  Tryon,  to  this  place  where  we  had 
the  happiness  to  wait  upon  your  father,  Mr.  Stuart,  and  with  joint 
application,  represented  to  him  the  necessity  of  taking  such  meas- 
ures as  may  effectually  prevent  any  misunderstanding  that  might 
arise  between  his  Majesty's  subjects  of  the  Colony  of  Virginia  and 
our  brothers  the  Cherokees,  until  a  full  treaty  be  appointed  and 
held  for  the  fixing  a  new  Boundary  that  may  give  equal  justice  and 
satisfaction  to  the  parties  concerned,  and  that  his  Majesty's  sub- 
jects, now  settled  on  the  lands  between  Chiswell's  Mines,  and  the 
Great  Island  of  Holston  River,  remain  in  peaceable  possession  of 
said  lands,  until  a  line  is  run  between  them  and  our  good  brothers 
the  Cherokees,  who  will  receive  full  satisfaction  for  such  lands  as 
you,  our  brothers,  shall  convey  to  our  Great  King  for  the  use  of  his 
subjects.  I 

Your  Father,  Mr.  Stuart's,  message  to  you  on  this  head,  makes  it 
needless  for  us  to  say  any  more  on  this  subject.  He  will  let  you, 
at  a  proper  time,  know  both  the  time  and  place  where  this  great 
work  shall  be  brought  into  execution.     We  have  the  pleasure  to 

100  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

inform  j'oii  that  3'our  two  great  Warriors  now  present,  have  heartily 
concurred  with  us  in  every  measure  and  make  no  doubt  of  such 
measures  giving  great  satisfaction  to  the  whole  Nation. 
Gave  a  string  of  Wampum. 

Jan.  16th.  In  answer  to  which,  Judds  Friend  and  the  Warrior 
of  Estitoe  spoke  as  follows : 

Father:  and  our  Brothers  from  Virginia, — We  have  heard  your 
Talks,  which  we  think  very  good,  and  shall  with  all  convenient 
speed  return  to  our  Nation,  and  when  our  Chiefs  are  assembled 
shall  lay  these  Talks  before  them. 

Brothers, — We  are  sorry  to  have  it  to  say,  that  for  some  time  bad 
blood  and  evil  actions  prevailed  amongst  us,  which  occasioned  a 
stroke  from  our  Elder  Brothers;  but  now  we  have  the  satisfaction 
of  telling  you  that  our  hands  are  good  and  straight,  and  you  may  de- 
pend on  their  continuing  so,  and,  that  you  may  depend  the  more  on 
what  we  say,  we  take  off  these  black  beads  from  the  end  of 
this  string,  that  nothing  may  remain  but  what  is  pure  and  white, 
and  now  put  the  black  beads  in  your  hands,  which  we  call  the  re- 
mains of  our  evil  thoughts,  and  desire  you  may  now  cast  them 
away,  that  they  may  never  be  had  in  remembrance  more. 

Brothers, — We  shall  with  great  pleasure  comply  with  the  request 
that  yon  have  made  with  regard  to  the  lands  you  have  mentioned, 
and  shall  wait  with  impatience  for  a  general  meeting,  that  we  may 
have  opportunity  for  convincing  our  Elder  Brothers  of  our  friendly 
disposition  towards  them,  as  we  may  be  of  real  use  to  them,  for  to 
us  it  is  of  little  or  none,  as  we  never  hunt  there;  the  deer  do  not 
live  in  the  mountains,  and  you,  in  the  meantime,  may  depend  that 
your  people  shall  enjoy  peaceable  possession  until  we  make  a 
Treaty  with  the  Great  King. 

Brothers, — We  hope  the  measures  now  taken  will  be  productive  of 
many  advantages  to  our  people,  as  well  as  those  who  by  living  so 
much  nearer  to  us,  will  have  it  in  their  power  to  supply  us  with 
goods,  for  we  are  often  imposed  upon  greatly,  as  we  have  no  trade 
at  present  but  with  this  Province,  and  we  hope  you,  our  Brothers, 
will  signify  to  your  Governor,  whom  we  believe  to  be  that  great 
and  good  man  you  mention,  our  great  desire  to  have  a  trade  with 
Virginia,  that  after  this  business  is  happily  finished,  which  we 
make  no  doubt  of  on  the  part  of  our  Nation,  we  may  enjoy  a 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  101 

friendly  intercourse  and  have  an  advantageous  trade  with  our 
Brothers,  the  Inhabitants  of  Virginia. 

Brothers, — We  have  often  joined  you  in  war  against  your  ene- 
mies and  you  may  always  depend  on  our  assistance  on  any  future 

Gives  a  string  of  Wampum. 

After  we  had  given  Mr.  Stuart  the  reasons  for  thinking  it  ab- 
solutely necessary  that  the  new  Boundary  should  be  agreed  upon, 
he  desired  us  to  commit  these  reasons  in  writing  and  sign  them: 
which  we  did  in  the  following  words : 

Sir, — His  Excellency,  the  Eight  Honorable  ISTorborne,  the  Lord 
Botetourt,  Governor  in  Chief  of  the  Colony  of  Virginia,  and  the 
King's  Coimcil  of  that  Dominion,  having  ordered  us  to  wait  on  you 
and  assist  in  settling  the  Boundary  line  between  that  Colony  and 
the  Cherokee  Indians,  we  beg  leave  to  inform  you  that  the  line  pro- 
posed to  be  marked  from  Chiswell's  Mines  to  the  confluence  of  the 
Great  Kanawha  and  the  Ohio,  would  be  a  great  disadvantage  to 
the  Crown  of  Great  Britain,  and  would  injure  many  subjects  of 
Britain  that  now  inhabit  that  part  of  the  frontier,  and  have  in  mak- 
ing that  settlement  complied  with  every  known  rule  of  government 
and  the  laws  of  that  Colony. 

Lands  were  first  granted  on  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi  by  Sir 
William  Gooch  of  Virginia,  and  the  Council  about  the  year  1746, 
in  consequence  of  instructions  from  England,  and  many  families 
settled  on  the  lands  so  granted.  In  the  year  1752,  the  Legislature 
of  Virginia  passed  an  act  to  encourage  settlers  on  the  waters  of  the 
Mississippi.  By  that  act  they  were  exempted  from  the  payment  of 
taxes  for  ten  years.  To  this  act  his  late  Majesty,  of  glorious  mem- 
ory, gives  assent.  The  next  year  another  act  was  passed,  by  which 
five  years'  indulgence  was  added,  and  in  that  or  the  succeeding 
year  Eobert  Dinwiddle,  Esq.,  Governor  of  Virginia  at  that  time, 
received  instructions  from  King  George  2nd.  to  grant  lands  on 
these  waters,  exempted  from  the  payment  of  the  usual  right  money 
and  free  from  Quit-rents  for  ten  years. 

Under  these  encouragements  was  that  part  of  the  Colony  settled. 
Whilst  the  inhabitants  were  settling  on  these  lands,  the  Cherokee 
Indians  were  frequently  at  their  habitations,  and  never  that  we, 
either  of  us,  ever  heard  made  the  slightest  complaint  of  our  settling, 

102  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

or  laid  any  claim  to  the  lands  we  settled,  until  ISTovember,  1763, 
after  the  King's  proclamation  issued  in  that  year. 

The  Six  Nations  both  claimed  the  lands  that  were  settled  on  the 
branches  of  the  rivers  Kanawha  and  Monongahely  and  were  paid 
a  proper  consideration  for  them  at  Lancaster,  in  1744,  when  they 
executed  a  deed  of  cession  to  his  late  Majesty. 

We  flatter  ourselves  that  the  above  is  sufiScient  to  convince  you 
of  the  justice  and  legality  of  making  those  settlements.  The 
Boundary  line  that  has  been  proposed  would  include  many  of  the 
inhabitants  above  mentioned  within  the  limits  of  the  Cherokee 
Hunting  Grounds.  For  all  such  lands  and  improvements,  the  jus- 
tice of  the  crown  would  be  an  inducement  to  make  some  satisfac- 
tion to  the  owners  which  would  be  expense  to  the  crown  and  injure 
the  inhabitants  much  and  totally  ruin  many  of  them,  and  the 
evil  would  be  increased  by  the  loss  of  the  Quit-rents  paid  for 
these  lands,  and  would  also  give  the  Cherokees  a  large  tract  of  coun- 
try that  was  never  claimed  by  them  and  now  is  the  property  of  the 
crown,  as  Sir  William  Johnson  actually  purchased  it  of  the  Six 
United  Nations  of  Indians  at  a  very  considerable  expense,  and 
took  a  deed  of  cession  from  them  at  Fort  Stanwix,  near  the  head 
of  Mohock's  Eiver,  on  the  5th  day  of  November  last. 

The  interest  of  the  crown  and  the  inhabitants  of  Virginia  will 
be  most  served  by  fixing  the  Boundary  with  the  Cherokees  in  36° 
30m.  North  Latitude,  that  Boundary  being  already  marked  by  proper 
authority  as  far  as  Steep  Eock  Creek,  a  branch  of  the  Cherokee 
Eiver,  and  is  the  proper  division  between  Lord  Granville's  Pro- 
prietary and  the  Dominion  of  Virginia,  and  includes  but  a  small 
part  of  the  lands  now  claimed  by  the  Cherokees,  they  having  often 
disclaimed  the  lands  lying  between  the  Ohio  and  a  ridge  of  moun- 
tains called  Sheep  Eidge,  that  divides  the  waters  of  the  Cumber- 
land Eiver  from  those  of  the  Cherokee  Eiver.  This  boundary  will 
give  room  to  extend  our  settlements  for  ten  or  twelve  years,  will 
raise  a  considerable  sum  by  the  Eights,  much  increase*  the  Quit- 
rents,  and  enable  the  Inhabitants  of  Virginia  to  live  thus  manu- 
facturing such  material  as  they  raise. 


Thomas   Walker. 
Feb.  2nd.  1769. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.         *  103 

Thus  it  will  appear  that  Colonel  Lewis  and  Dr.  Walker  suc- 
ceeded in  securing  from  the  Indian  chiefs  the  assurance  that  the 
settlers  on  the  land  in  Southwest  Virginia  should  remain  in 
peaceable  possession  of  their  homes  until  a  treaty  could  be  held  fix- 
ing new  bounds  between  them.  Acting  upon  this  assurance,  emigra- 
tion to  the  land  continued,  and  during  this  year  James  Bryan 
settled  near  the  present  residence  of  Captain  Kendrick,  Moab,  Va., 
and  erected  Bryan's  Fort,  William  Cocke  settled  upon  Spring  creek, 
then  called  Eenfro's  creek,  and  erected  Cocke's  fort,  near  the  present 
residence  of  C.  L.  Clyce.  Anthony  Bledsoe  settled  in  the  lower  end 
of  this  county  about  thirty  miles  east  of  Long  Island,  on  the  Fort 
Chiswell  road,  and  afterwards  built  Bledsoe's  Fort.  Amos  Eaton 
settled  seven  miles  east  of  Long  Island,  where  Eaton's  Fort  was 
afterwards  built,  and  by  the  beginning  of  the  year  1770  there  were 
many  settlers  upon  Holston. 

The  first  settlers  of  the  Liberty  Hall  neighborhood  were  the 
Edmistons,  Moores  and  Buchanans.     The  first  name  was  written  ■' 
Edmiston  until  sixty  or  seventy  years  ago.     All  the  land  from  ( 
Liberty  Hall  to  some  distance  east  of  Friendship  was  held  by  j 
William  Edmiston  under  a  grant  from  Charles  II,  King  of  Eng- 
land, and  under  the  King's  proclamation  of  1763,  Edmiston  being 
an  officer  in  the  French-Indian  war  of  1754-1763. 

Fort  Edmiston  was  built  by  the  settlers  as  a  protection  against 
the  Indians,  who  made  frequent  inroads  on  the  settlements.  As 
nearly  as  can  be  learned,  it  was  built  about  1765. 

The  site  was  about  three  hundred  yards  east  of  Liberty  Academy. 
The  old  Keys'  dwelling,  now  owned  by  William  Snodgrass,  stands 
on  the  site  of  the  old  fort.  A  soldier  by  the  name  of  Edmiston 
died  at  the  fort  and  was  the  first  person  buried  in  the  old  Moore 

The  Indians  made  frequent  attacks  on  the  fort  and,  in  one,  cap- 
tured and  carried  off  a  Miss  Steele.  The  Indians  were  followed  by 
parties  from  the  fort,  and  she  was  recaptured  on  Walker's  moun- 
tain. She  was  traced  by  means  of  twigs,  which  she  had  presence 
of  mind  enough  to  break  off  along  the  road. 

Several  persons  from  the  fort  were  in  the  battle  at  King's  Moun- 
tain, among  whom  were  the  eight  Edmistons  and  William  Moore. 
Several  of  the  former  were  killed.  They  were  the  ancestors  of 
<he  Edmondsons  of  this  day. 

104  •         Southwest  Virginia,  17J^6-1786. 

Fort  Edmiston  was  one  of  the  first  forts  erected  in  this  section. 
Fort  Thompson,  six  miles  northeast  of  Liberty  Hall,  on  the  Huff, 
formerly  the  Byars  place,  was  erected  about  the  same  time.  It  was 
named  for  Captain  James  Thompson,  who  owned  the  property  at 
that  time,  and  it  remained  many  years  after  the  revolution. 

Tradition  says  Fort  Edmiston  ceased  to  exist  about  the  year 

The  first  settlers  in  Widener's  Valley  were  John  Widener,  Paul- 
ser  Eouse  and  John  Jones.  They  came  from  Germany,  a  few  years 
prior  to  the  Eevolutionary  War,  or  about  1767.  They  first  settled 
in  Pennsylvania,  but  afterwards  came  to  this  country  and  settled 
temporarily  near  Fort  Thompson.  x\fter  remaining  there  a  short 
time,  they  removed  to  the  valley.  John  Widener  located  near  W. 
M.  Widener's  mill,  and  Jones  and  Eouse  in  the  lower  end  of  the 

In  order  to  raise  money  to  get  away  from  Germany,  John 
Widener  pawned  or  bartered  his  son  Mike,  a  boy  twelve  or  four- 
teen years  old.  John  Widener  found  employment  in  Pennsylvania, 
and  earned  money  enough  to  redeem  Mike.  Mike  tlien  followed 
his  father  to  the  New  World.  He  arrived  just  about  the  commence- 
ment of  the  revolution,  joined  Washington's  army,  was  a  brave  sol- 
dier, acted  as  interpreter  when  the  Hessians  were  captured,  and 
appears  to  have  been  a  favorite  of  Washington's,  who  called  him 

After  the  revolution  Mike  followed  his  father  and  settled  in  the 
valley  on  what  is  now  known  as  the  Lilburn  Widener  farm.  Mike 
died  at  the  age  of  eighty-four.  Joel  Widener,  now  living,  is  a 
grandson.  The  present  generation  are  all  descendants  of  John 
and  Mike.  Several  families  of  Eouses,  descendants  of  Paulser,  still 
live  in  the  valley. 

At  the  time  of  these  early  settlements  there  were  a  good  many 
Indians  hunting  and  fishing  in  and  near  the  valley.  They  were 
very  peaceable,  however.  Two  large  Indian  camps  were  established 
— one  on  the  Middle  Fork  at  a  point  east  of  the  New  Bridge;  the 
other  in  the  lower  end  of  the  valley.  Of  the  latter  many  evidences 
still  remain. 

John  and  Michael  Fleenor  settled  in  Poor  Valley;  Casper  Flee- 
nor  in  Eich  Valley,  on  the  head  waters  of  what  is  now  called  Gas- 
per's creek,  and  Nicholas  Fleenor  settled  at  the  Lilburn  Fleenor 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  105 

place  in  Eich  Valley,  below  Benhams.  The  four  persons  named 
were  of  German  descent  and  brothers,  and  are  the  ancestors  of 
many  of  our  best  citizens. 

At  this  point  it  may  be  appropriate  to  give  a  description  of  the 
early  forts  erected  by  the  settlers  in  the  West. 

My  readers  will  understand  by  this  term,  not  only  a  place  of  de- 
fence, but  the  residence  of  a  small  number  of  families  belonging 
to  the  neighborhood. 

As  the  Indian's  mode  of  warfare  was  an  indiscriminate  slaugh- 
ter of  all  ages  and  both  sexes,  it  was  as  requisite  to  provide  for  the 
safety  of  the  women  and  children  as  for  that  of  the  men.  The  fort 
consisted  of  cabins,  block-houses  and  stockades.  A  range  of  cabins 
commonly  formed  one  side,  at  least,  of  the  fort.  Divisions  or  par- 
titions of  logs  separated  the  cabins  one  from  another.  The  walls 
on  the  outside  were  ten  or  twelve  feet  high,  the  slope  of  the  roof 
being  turned  wholly  inward.  Very  few  of  these  cabins  had  plank 
floors ;  the  greater  part  were  earthen. 

The  block-houses  were  built  at  the  angles  of  the  fort.  They  pro- 
jected about  two  feet  beyond  the  outer  walls  of  the  cabins  and 
stockades.  Their  upper  stories  were  about  eighteen  inches,  every 
way,  larger  in  dimension  than  the  under  one,  leaving  an  opening 
at  the  commencement  of  the  second  story  to  prevent  the  enemy 
from  making  a  lodgement  under  their  walls. 

In  some  forts,  instead  of  block-houses,  the  angles  of  the  fort 
were  finished  with  bastions.  A  large  folding  gate,  made  of  thick 
slabs  nearest  the  spring,  closed  the  fort. 

The  stockades,  bastions,  cabins  and  block-house  walls  were  fur- 
nished with  port-holes  at  proper  heights  and  distances.  The  whole 
of  the  outside  was  made  bullet-proof.  It  may  be  truly  said  that 
"necessity  is  the  mother  of  invention,"  for  the  whole  of  this 
work  was  made  without  the  aid  of  a  shingle,  nail,  or  spike  of  iron, 
because  such  things  were  not  to  be  had.  In  some  places  less  exposed 
a  single  block-house,  with  a  cabin  or  two,  constituted  the  whole 

In  this  same  year  Daniel  Boone,  John  Finley,  John  Stuart  and 
a  few  others,  as  well  as  numerous  other  companies  of  hunters  who 
are  of  no  importance  in  the  history  of  this  country,  explored  Ken- 


106  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jk6-n86. 

tucky  and  hunted  throughout  Southwest  Virginia,  East  Tennes- 
see and  Eastern  Kentucky. 

In  the  year  1769  there  occurred  a  circumstance  that  greatly  aided 
the  early  settlers  of  Southwest  Virginia  and  Eastern  Tennessee  in 
settling  this  country  and  in  conquering  their  Indian  neighbors,  the 

The  Cherokee  Indians  were  exceedingly  overbearing  in  their  dis- 
position and  they  sought  a  quarrel  with  the  Chickasaw  Indians  and 
invaded  their  country. 

When  they  had  reached  the  Chickasaw  Old  Fields,  they  were  met 
by  the  Chickasaw  warriors.  After  a  terrible  battle  the  Cherokees 
were  defeated  with  great  loss  and  retreated  to  their  own  villages. 
The  very  flower  of  the  Cherokee  Nation  were  destroyed  in  this  bat- 
tle, and,  the  number  of  their  warriors  being  greatly  reduced,  for 
seven  years  the  early  settlers  were  permitted  to  pursue  their  course 
in  peace. 

All  of  the  incidents  above  related  occurred  while  the  lands,  now 
included  in  Washington  county,  were  a  part  of  Augusta  county,  but 
in  the  year  1769,  the  House  of  Burgesses  of  Virginia  passed  an  act 
for  the  division  of  Augusta  county,  and  all  that  part  of  Augusta 
county  lying  south  and  west  of  the  North  river,  near  Lexington, 
Va.,  was  given  the  name  of  Botetourt  county,  and  thus  a  new  county 
was  formed,  which  included  all  that  part  of  Virginia  in  which  we 
live  and  about  which  I  write. 

The  act  establishing  Botetourt  county  provided  that  from  and 
after  the  31st  day  of  January  next  ensuing,  1770,  the  said  county 
and  parish  of  Augusta  be  divided  into  two  counties  and  parishes  by 
a  line  beginning  at  the  Blue  Eidge,  running  north  55  degrees  west 
to  the  confluence  of  Mary's  creek,  or  the  South  river,  with  the  north 
branch  of  James  river,  thence  up  the  same  to  the  mouth  of  Carr's 
creek,  thence  up  said  creek  to  the  mountain,  thence  north  55  degrees 
west  as  far  as  the  courts  of  the  two  counties  had  it  extended,  and 
further.  Whereas  the  people  situated  on  the  waters  of  the  Mis- 
sisippi  in  the  said  county  of  Botetourt  will  be  very  remote  from 
their  courthouse  and  must  necessarily  become  a  separate  county  as 
soon  as  their  numbers  are  sufficient,  which  probably  will  happen  in 
a  short  time,  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid  that 
the  inhabitants  of  that  part  of  said  county  of  Botetourt  which  lies 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  107 

on  the  said  waters  shall  be  exempted  from  the  payment  of  any 
levies  to  be  laid  by  the  said  county  court  for  the  purpose  of  building 
a  courthouse  and  prison  for  said  county. 

It  will  thus  be  seen  that  the  organization  of  the  county  of  Bote- 
tourt was  intended  to  be  temporary  only. 

108  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 




The  first  Coimty  Court  of  Botetourt  county  met  at  the  house  of 
Eobert  Breckenridge^  near  the  location  of  Fincastle,  Va.,  on  Tues- 
day, the  13th  of  February,  1770.  The  justices  composing  the  court 
were : 

^William  Preston,  David  Eobinson, 

George  Skillem,  James  Trimble 

Eichard  Woods,  John  Maxwell 

Benjamin  Hawkins,  William  Fleming, 

Benjamin  Estill,  Israel  Christian, 

John  Bowyer,  Jlobert  Breckenridge. 

A  number  of  the  members  of  this  court  were  not  present  on  the 
first  day  of  the  court,  but  were  subsequently  qualified.  The  follow- 
ing officers  qualified  on  that  day: 

County  Court  Clerk,  John  May. 
Sheriff  Botetourt  county,  Eichard  Woods. 

Deputy  Sheriffs  Botetourt  county,  Jas.  McDowell  and  Jas.  Mc- 

County  Surveyor,  William  Preston. 
Escheator,  William  Preston. 
Coroner,  Andrew  Lewis. 
Colonel  of  Militia,  William  Preston. 

The  attorneys  qualifying  to  practice  in  the  court  were: 

Edmund  Winston,  John  Aylett, 

Luke  Bowyer,  Thomas  Madison. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  109 

On  the  14tli  day  of  February,  1770,  the  following  magistrates 
qualified  and  took  their  seats : 

John  Bowman,  Anthony  Bledsoe, 

AVilliam  Christian,  Walter  Crockett, 

Robert  Doach,  John  Howard, 

William  Herbert,  William  Inglis, 

Phili])  Love,  Andrew  Lewis, 

John  Montgomery,  James  McGavock, 

William  Matthews,  William  McKee, 

James  Eobertson,  Francis  Smith, 

Stephen  Trigg,  Andrew  Woods. 

And  on  the  11th  day  of  June,  1771,  the  following  members  of  the 
court  qualified: 

John  Van  Bebber,  James  Thompson,  of  Holstou, 

John  Stewart,  Matthew  Arbuckle. 

Botetourt  county  was  named  for  Lord  Botetourt,  Governor  of 
Virginia,  in  1768,  and  the  county  seat  was  fixed  at  the  present  loca- 
tion of  Finscastle,  Va.,  upon  forty  acres  of  land  presented  to  the 
county  for  a  town  seat  by  Israel  Christian.  Fincastle  was  named 
for  the  county  seat  of  Lord  Botetourt  in  England,  and  was  estab- 
lished as  a  town  by  law  in  1772. 

Of  the  members  of  the  County  Court  of  Botetourt  county,  James 
Eobertson,  Anthony  Bledsoe  and  James  Thompson  had  their  resi- 
dence upon  the  waters  of  the  Holston  and  the  Watauga.  On  the 
second  day  of  the  court,  being  February  14,  1770,  Frederick  Stern 
and  Eobert  Davis  were  appointed  constables  upon  the  Holston  river ; 
on  the  12th  of  June,  1770,  William  Pruitt  was  appointed  a  con- 
stable upon  the  waters  of  the  Clinch,  and  Arthur  Campbell  was 
appointed  surveyor  of  the  roads  from  the  State  line  to  the  Eoyal 
Oak,  and  James  Davis  from  the  Eoyal  Oak  to  his  house. 

On  the  13th  of  March,  1770,  Arthur  Campbell  obtained  permis- 
sion from  the  County  Court  of  Botetourt  county  to  erect  a  mill  at 
Eoyal  Oak,  on  the  Holston,  and  there  can  be  no  question  that  this 
was  the  first  mill  erected  upon  any  of  the  waters  of  the  Holston  or 
Clinch  river. 

On  the  same  day  Francis  Kincannon  was  appointed  surveyor  of 
the  roads  from  Stalnaker's  to  Eighteen  Mile  creek;  Thomas  Eam- 

110  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

say  from  said  creek  to  Beaver,  or  Shallow,  creek,  and  David  Looney 
from  said  creek  to  Fall  creek. 

On  the  10th  of  May,  1770,  xVnthony  Bledsoe  was  appointed  to 
take  the  tithables  from  Stalnaker's  to  the  lowest  inhabitants. 

The  next  order  of  the  County  Court  of  Botetourt  county,  of  any 
importance  in  the  history  of  this  county,  was  made  on  the  14th  of 
August,  1771,  when  the  County  Court  ordered  that  Andrew  Colvill, 
George  Adams,  George  Tiller,  George  Baker,  David  Ward  and 
Alexander  Wilie,  or  any  three  of  them,  being  first  sworn  to  view 
the  way  from  the  head  of  Holston  river  to  the  Wolf  Hill  creek,  both 
the  old  and  the  new  way,  make  report  to  the  next  court  of  the  con- 
veniences and  inconveniences  thereof.  The  records  of  Botetourt 
county  fail  to  show  that  this  report  was  ever  made  or  that  the  road 
was  established,  but  there  can  be  but  little  doubt  that  the  road  was 
established  and  used,  and,  if  so,  this  was  the  first  public  road  estab- 
lished upon  the  waters  of  the  Holston  or  Clinch  river.  The  fore- 
going is  all  the  information  that  the  records  of  Botetourt  county 
give  of  any  of  the  people  living  upon  the  waters  of  the  Holston  and 
Clinch  rivers. 

The  one  matter  of  supreme  importance  to  the  inhabitants  of  this 
section  of  Virginia  at  that  time  was  the  extinguishment  of  the 
claims  of  the  Cherokee  Indians  to  the  lands  which  they  were  set- 
tling and  occupying,  and,  pursuant  to  instructions,  John  Stuart, 
Superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs,  assembled  the  Indian  chiefs  at 
Lochaber,  S.  C,  October  18,  1770,  and  on  Monday,  October  22, 
1770,  he  succeeded  in  concluding  a  treaty  with  the  chiefs  and  war- 
riors of  the  Cherokee  Nation,  by  which  George  III,  King  of  Eng- 
land, became  the  owner  of  all  the  lands  lying  east  of  a  line 
beginning  at  a  point  where  the  North  Carolina  (now  Tennessee) 
line  terminates  at  a  run,  thence  in  a  west  course  to  Holston  river, 
where  it  is  intersected  by  a  continuation  of  the  line  dividing  the 
Province  of  North  Carolina  (now  Tennessee)  and  Virginia,  and 
thence  in  a  straight  course  to  the  confluence  of  the  Great  Canaway 
river,  the  treaty  being  here  given  in  full : 


At  a  meeting  of  the  principal  Chiefs  and  Warriors  of  the  Cherokee 
Nation  with  John  Stuart,  Esq.,  Superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs, 
etc.,  Lochaber,  South  Carolina,  Oct.  18th,  1770. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  Ill 

Present  Colo.  Donelson  by  appointment  of  his  Excellency,  the 
Eight  Honorable  Lord  Botetourt,  in  behalf  of  the  Province  of  Vir- 

Alex'r  Cameron,  Deputy  Superintendent ;  James  Simpson,  Clk  of 
his  Majesty's  Council  of  South  Carolina;  Major  Lacy,  from  Vir- 
ginia ;  Major  Williamson,  Capt.  Cohoon,  John  Caldwell,  Esq.,  Cap- 
tain Winter,  Christopher  Peters,  Esq.,  besides  a  great  number  of  the 
back  inhabitants  of  the  province  of  South  Carolina,  and  the  fol- 
lowing chiefs  of  the  Cherokee  Nation:  Oconistoto,  Killagusta,  At- 
tacallaculla,  Keyatory,  Tiftoy,  Terreaino,  Encyod  Tugalo,  Scali- 
loskie  Chinista,  Chinista  of  Watangali,  Octaciti  of  Hey  Wassie,  and 
about  a  thousand  other  Indians  of  the  same  Nation. 

John  Watts,  'j  ' 

David  McDonald,   I  Interpreters. 

John  Vans,  j 

Treaty,  Monday,  22nd  Oct. 

At  a  Congress  of  the  principal  chiefs  of  the  Cherokee  Nation,  held 
at  Lochaber,  in  the  province  of  South  Carolina^  on  the  18th  day 
of  October  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  1770,  by  John  Stuart,  Esq.,  his 
Majesty's  agent  for  and  Superintendent  of  the  Affairs  of  the  In- 
dian Nation  in  the  Southern  district  of  North  America. 

A  Treaty  for  a  cession !  His  most  sacred  Majesty,  George  the 
Third,  by  the  grace  of  God  of  Great  Britain,  France  and  Ireland, 
King,  Defender  of  the  Faith,  etc.,  by  the  said  Nation  of  Cherokee 
Indians,  of  certain  lands  lying  within  the  limits  of  the  Dominion  of 

Whereas  by  a  Treaty  entered  into  and  concluded  at  Hard  Labor, 
the  14th  day  of  Oct.  in  the  year  1768,  by  John  Stuart,  Esq.  his 
Majesty's  Agent  for  and  Superintendent  of  the  affairs  of  the  In- 
dian Nations,  inhabiting  the  southern  district  of  North  America, 
with  the  principal  and  ruling  Chiefs  of  the  Cherokee  Nation,  all  of 
the  lands  formerly  claimed  by,  and  belonging  to  the  said  Nation  of 
Indians,  lying  within  the  province  of  North  Carolina  and  Virginia, 
running  in  a  N.  B.  E.  course,  to  Colo.  Chiswell's  mine  on  the  East- 
ern bank  of  the  Great  Canaway,  and  from  thence  in  a  straight  line 
to  the  mouth  of  the  said  Great  Canaway  river,  where  it  discharges 
itself  into  the  Ohio  river,  were  ceded  to  his  most  sacred  Majesty,  his 

113  Southwest  Virginia,  17J,6-1786. 

heirs  and  sucessors.  And  whereas  by  the  above  recited  Treaty,  all 
the  lands  lying  between  Holston's  Eiver,  and  the  line  above  specified 
were  determined  to  belong  to  the  Cherokee  Nation  to  the  great  loss 
and  inconvenience  of  many  of  his  Majesty's  subjects  inhabiting  the 
said  lands;  and  representation  of  the  same  having  been  made  to 
his  Majesty  by  his  Excellency,  the  Et  Hon'ble  ISTorborne,  Baron  de 
Botetourt,  his  Majesty's  Lieutenant  and  Governor  General  of  the 
dominion  of  Virginia.  In  Consequence  whereof,  his  Majesty  has 
been  generously  pleased  to  signify  his  Eoyal  pleasure  to  John  Stu- 
art, Esq.,  his  Agent  for  and  Superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs  in  the 
Southern  District  of  North  America,  by  an  instruction  contained 
in  a  letter  from  the  Et.  Hon'ble  the  Earl  of  Hillsborough,  one  of 
his  Majesty's  principal  Secretaries  of  State,  dated  the  13th  of  May, 
1769,  to  enter  into  a  negotiation  with  the  Cherokees  for  establishing 
a  new  boundary  line  beg'g  at  the  point  where  the  No.  Carolina  line 
terminates,  and  to  run  thence  in  a  west  course  to  Holston's  Eiver, 
where  it  is  intersected  by  a  continuance  of  the  line  dividing  the 
province  of  North  Carolina  &  Virginia,  and  thence  a  straight  course 
to  the  confluence  of  the  Great  Canaway  and  Ohio  Elvers. 
Dec.  12,  1770. 

Article  1st. 

Pursuant  therefore  to  his  Majesty's  orders  to  &  power  and  autho- 
rity vested  in  John  Stuart,  Esqr.  Agent  for  and  Superintendent  of 
the  Affairs  of  the  Indian  Tribes  in  the  Southern  District:  It  is 
agreed  upon  by  the  said  John  Stuart,  Esqr.  on  behalf  of  his  most 
sacred  Majesty,  George  Third,  by  the  grace  of  God,  of  Great 
Britain,  France  and  Ireland,  King,  Defender  of  the  Faith,  etc.,  and 
by  the  subscribing  Cherokee  Chiefs  and  Warriors  on  behalf  of  their 
said  Nation  in  consideration  of  his  Majesty's  paternal  goodness,  so 
often  demonstrated  to  them,  the  said  Cherokee  Indians,  and  from 
their  affection  and  friendship  for  their  Brethren,  the  Inhabi- 
tants of  Virginia  as  well  as  their  earnest  desire  of  removing  as  far 
as  possible  all  cause  of  dispute  between  them  and  the  said  inhabi- 
tants on  account  of  encroachments  on  lands  reserved  by  the  said  In- 
dians for  themselves,  and  also  for  a  valuable  consideration  in 
various  sorts  of  goods  paid  to  them  by  the  said  John  Stuart,  on 
behalf  of  the  Dominion  of  Virginia  that  the  hereafter  recited  line  be 
ratified  and  confirmed,  and  it  is  hereby  ratified  and  confirmed  ac- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  113 

cordingly :  and  it  is  by  these  presents  firmly  stipulated  and  agreed 
iipon  by  the  parties  aforesaid  that  a  line  beginning  where  the  boun- 
dary line  between  the  province  of  No.  Carolina  and  the  Cherokee 
hunting  grounds  terminates  and  running  thence  in  a  west  course 
to  a  point  six  miles  east  of  Long  Island  in  Holston's  river  and  thence 

to  said  river  six  miles  above  the  said  Long  Island,  thence  in  a 

course  to  the  confluence  of  the  Great  Canaway  and  Ohio  rivers, 
shall  remain  and  be  deemed  by  all  his  Majesty's  white  subjects 
as  well  as  all  the  Indians  of  the  Cherokee  Nation,  the  true  and 
just  boundaries  of  the  lands  reserved  by  the  said  Nation  of  Indians 
for  their  own  proper  use,  and  dividing  the  same  from  the  lands 
ceded  by  them  to  his  Majesty's  within  the  limits  of  the  province  of 
Virginia,  and  that  his  Majesty's  white  subjects,  inhabiting  the  pro- 
vince of  Virginia,  shall  not,  upon  any  pretense  whatsoever,  settle 
beyond  the  said  line,  nor  shall  the  said  Indians  make  any  settlements 
or  encroachments  on  the  lands  which  by  this  treaty  they  cede  and 
confirm  to  his  Majesty;  and  it  is  further  agreed  that  as  soon  as  his 
Majesty's  royal  approbation  of  this  treaty  shall  have  been  signified 
to  the  Governor  of  Virginia  or  Superintendent,  this  treaty  shall  be 
carried  into  execution. 

Article  2nd. 

And  it  is  further  agreed  upon  and  stipulated  by  the  contracting 
parties,  that  no  alteration  whatsoever  shall  henceforward  be  made  in 
the  boundary  line  above  recited,  and  now  solemnly  agreed  upon,  ex- 
cept such  as  may  hereafter  be  found  expedient  and  necessary  for 
the  mutual  interest  of  both  parties,  and  which  alteration  shall  be 
made  with  the  consent  of  the  Superintendent  or  such  other  person 
or  persons  as  shall  be  authorized  by  his  Majesty,  as  well  as  with  the 
consent  and  approbation  of  the  Cherokee  Nation  of  Indians,  at  a 
Congress  or  general  meeting  of  said  Indians,  to  be  held  for  said 
purpose,  and  not  in  any  other  manner. 

In  testimony  whereof,  the  said  Superintendent,  on  behalf  of  his 
Majesty,  and  the  underwritten  Cherokee  Chiefs  on  behalf  of  their 
Nation  have  signed  and  sealed  this  present  treaty  at  the  time  and 
place  aforesaid. 

John  Stuart,  (L.  S.) 

Oconistoto,  YC,  (L.  C.) 

Kittagusta,  0.,  (L.  C.) 

114  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

Attacallaculla,  X.,  (L.  C.) 

Keyatoy's  mark  ISTG.,  (L.  C.) 

Unkayonla,  C,  (L.  C.) 

Chuckamuntas,  C,  (L.  C) 

Kinalilaps,  NG.,  (L.  C.) 

Skyagusta  Tucelicis,  S.,  (L.  C.) 

Wolf  of  Keewees,  G.,  (L.  C.) 

Skyagusta  Tiftoy,  (L.  C.) 

Terrapino,  (L.  C.) 

Ency  of  Tugalo,  (L.  C.) 

Scalil^^skey  of  Sugar  Town,  (L.  C.) 
Thus  all  claim  asserted  by  both  the  northern  and  southern  In- 
dians to  any  of  the  lands  located  within  the  present  bounds  of 
Washington  county  was  extinguished,  and  the  settlement  of  these 
lands  was  greatly  expedited  thereby.  This  portion  of  Virginia  now 
opened  to  settlement  was  one  vast  forest  overspreading  a  limestone 
soil  of  great  fertility  and  excellently  watered,  and  this,  accompa- 
nied by  the  comparative  security  and  quiet  succeeding  the  French- 
Indian  war  of  1763,  contributed  greatly  to  the  rapid  settlement  of 
Southwestern  Virginia. 

In  the  year  1770,  Col.  James  Knox,*  accompanied  by  about 
forty  hunters  from  the  settlements  on  New  river,  Holston  and 
Clinch,  passed  oved  the  Cumberland  mountains  for  the  purpose  of 
hunting  and  trapping,  and  penetrated  to  the  lower  Cumberland. 
They  were  equipped  with  their  rifles,  traps  and  dogs,  and  the 
usual  outfit  of  backwoods  hunters,  and  thus  originated  the  name 
Long  Hunters.  The  usual  mode  of  hunting  followed  by  what  were 
known  as  the  Long  Hunters,  in  those  days,  was  for  not  more  than 
two  or  three  men  to  go  in  one  company,  each  man  having  two 
horses,  traps,  a  large  surplus  of  powder  and  lead,  a  small  hand  vise 
and  bellows  and  files  and  screw  plates  for  the  purpose  of  fixing 
guns,  if  any  should  get  out  of  fix.  They  usually  set  out  from  their 
homes  about  the  first  of  October  and  returned  the  latter  part  of 
March  or  first  of  April.  The  most  noted  Long  Hunters  were 
Elisha  Walden,  William  Carr,  William  Crabtree,  James  Aldridge, 
William  Pitman  and  Henry  Scaggs. 

During  the  season  above  mentioned,  large  numbers  of  hunters 

*Afterwards  Gen.  Knox.     The  last  named  erected  a  fort  near  the  present 
site  of  Kiioxville,  Tenn.,  to  which  was  given  the  name  of  Fort  Knox. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  115 

visited  the  valleys  of  the  Holston,  Clinch  and  Powell's  rivers,  and 
oftentimes  penetrated  into  the  very  heart  of  Kentucky. 

In  the  year  1771,  Absalom  Looney  settled  in  Abb's  Valley,  Taze- 
well county,  Virginia,  and  from  him  the  valley  received  its  name. 
Thomas  Witten  and  John  Greenup  settled  at  Crab  Orchard,  a  few 
miles  west  of  Tazewell  C.  H. ;  Mathias,  Jacob  and  Henry  Harmon 
settled  a  few  miles  east  of  Tazewell  C.  H.,  and  John  Craven, 
Joseph  Martin,  John  Henry,  James  King  and  John  Bradshaw  set- 
tled in  Tazewell  county,  on  the  headwaters  of  the  Clinch. 

In  the  year  1771,  a  company  of  about  twenty  men  from  near 
the  Natural  Bridge  in  Virginia  and  from  the  New  river  settle- 
ments met  about  eight  miles  below  Fort  Chiswell  on  New  river, 
whence  they  traveled  to  the  head  of  the  Holston,  and  thence  down 
the  Holston  Valley,  and  on  into  Kentucky,  where  they  continued 
to  hunt  for  about  nine  months. 

The  Holston  settlements  received  during  this  year  a  large  num- 
ber of  emigrants  from  North  Carolina.  The  government  of  North 
Carolina  was  in  the  hands  of  a  class  of  people  who  were  very 
haughty  and  oppressive  in  their  manner  towards  the  poorer  classes 
of  citizens,  which  caused  great  numbers  of  the  people  of  North 
Carolina  to  organize  themselves  into  bands  called  Regulators. 
They  petitioned  Governor  Tryon  for  relief,  which  was  denied;  tu- 
mult and  violence  succeeded,  the  courts  were  prevented  from  sit- 
ting and  the  laws  were  disobeyed.  The  principal  ground  of  com- 
plaint was  that  the  people  were  taxed  without  the  right  to  vote  and 
send  representatives  to  the  House  of  Commons  of  North  Carolina. 
About  three  thousand  Eegulators  banded  themselves  together,  and 
on  the  16th  of  May,  1771,  a  battle  was  fought  at  the  Alamance, 
between  the  Regulators  and  the  forces  commanded  by  Governor 
Tryon.  The  Regulators,  being  undisciplined  and  poorly  armed, 
were  defeated  with  the  loss  of  nine  killed  and  many  wounded,  the 
Governor's  forces  having  lost  twenty-seven  killed  and  many 
wounded.  And  thus  it  is  said  was  fought  the  first  battle  of  the 
Revolution,  and  thus  was  shed  the  first  blood  for  the  enjoyment 
of  liberty.  The  Eegulators  being  thus  defeated  and  dispersed, 
many  of  their  number  found  homes  on  the  waters  of  the  Holston 
and  Clinch  rivers.  At  this  time  the  settlements  extended  down  the 
north  side  of  the  Holston  river  as  far  as  Carter's  Valley,  about 
fourteen  or  fifteen  miles  above  Rogersville,  Tenn.,  and  that  por- 

116  Southivest  Virginia,  17J,6-17S6. 

tion  of  the  country  being  supposed  to  be  a  part  of  Virginia,  it  was 
soon  settled  by  people  from  the  Wolf  Hills  in  Virginia. 

A  settlement  was  made  on  the  Watauga  as  early  as  the  year  1770, 
upon  the  idea  that  the  lands  were  in  Virginia,  and  that  the  set- 
tlers would  be  entitled  to  take  up  the  lands  given  to  settlers  under 
the  laws  of  Virginia,  to-wit:  To  each  actual  settler  who  should 
erect  a  log  cabin  and  cultivate  one  acre  in  corn,  four  hundred  acres, 
located  so  as  to  include  all  improvements,  with  the  right  to  buy 
a  thousand  acres  adjoining  at  a  nominal  price.  Most  of  the  early 
settlers  on  the  Watauga  came  from  near  the  Wolf  Hills  and,  being 
loyal  Virginians,  they  did  not  contemplate  establishing  a  residence 
in  the  State  of  North  Carolina,  but  thought  they  were  near  the 
boundary  between  the  two  States. 

In  the  fall  of  the  year  1771,  Anthony  Bledsoe  ran  the  boundary 
line  between  the  Colonies  of  Virginia  and  North  Carolina,  far 
enough  west  to  ascertain  that  the  Watauga  settlement  was  in  North 
Carolina,  and  Alexander  Cameron,  the  British  agent,  immediately 
ordered  the  settlers  on  the  Watauga  to  move  off  of  the  Indian  lands. 
James  Eobertson  and  John  Sevier,  two  of  the  leading  members 
of  the  Watauga  settlement,  immediately  set  about  to  devise  ways 
and  means  by  which  they  could  avoid  the  order  of  the  British 
agent.  They  could  not  buy  the  lands  from  the  Indians,  because 
the  purchase  was  prohibited,  but  there  was  no  law  prohibiting  a 
lease  of  the  land,  and  in  the  year  1774,  the  Indians  leased  to  the 
settlers  on  the  Watauga  the  lands  in  the  Watauga  Valley  and  all 
was  peace  once  again. 

The  stream  of  emigration  that  poured  over  the  mountains  ex- 
tended along  the  Holston  as  far  as  Carter's  Valley  and  on  the  lands 
belonging  to  the  Indians.  They  were  all  from  Virginia  and  of 
Scotch-Irish  descent,  their  wealth  consisting  of  strong  arms  and 
stout  hearts. 

In  the  year  1772,  James  Moore  and  James  Poage  settled  in 
Abb's  Valley,  William  Wynn  at  Locust  Hill,  John  Taylor  and 
Jesse  Evans  on  the  north  fork  of  Clinch ;  Thomas  Maxwell,  Benja- 
min Joslin,  James  Ogleton,  Peter  and  Jacob  Harmon,  Samuel 
Ferguson  and  William  Webb,  near  Tazewell  C.  H.;  Eees  Bowen, 
at  Maiden  Spring,  David  Ward  in  the  Cove,  and  William  Garri- 
son at  the  foot  of  Morris'  Knob.    William  Wynn  erected  a  fort  on 

Soufhwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  117 

Wynn's    Branch,    Thomas    Witten   at    Crab    Orchard,    and   Bees 
Bowen  at  Maiden  Spring. 

The  earlj/Settlers  of  Southwest  Virginia  came  principally  from 
the  Valley^of  Virginia,  western  Pennsylvania  and  Maryland,  some 
of  them  coming  directly  from  Ireland.  They  were  of  a  mixed 
race,  and  a  large  majority  were  Scotch-Irish.  In  studying  the 
nationality  of  the  early  settlers  of  Southwest  Virginia,  it  must 
be  kept  in  mind  that  there  was  a  great  difference  between  the 
people  inhabiting  the  eastern  shores  of  Virginia  and  the  early  set- 
tlers in  the  mountains  of  western  Virginia.  They  differed  both  in 
their  ancestry  and  in  their  religion. 

The  early  settlers  of  Eastern  Virginia  were  English  by  birth  and  / 
Episcopalians  in  religion;  while  the  early  settlers  of   Southwest 
Virginia  were  Scotch-Irish  by  birth  and  Presbyterians  in  religious  j 
belief.  ' 

The  government  of  the  Colony  of  Virginia,  early  in  the  eigh- 
teenth century,  adopted  the  policy  of  offering  inducements  to  the 
dissenters  from  the  established  church  to  settle  and  make  their 
homes  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia  and  in  the  Southwest,  and  thereby 
sought  to  establish  a  barrier  between  the  Indian  tribes  and  the  set- 
tlers east  of  the  mountains. 

In  the  adoption  of  this  policy  the  government  of  the  Colony  of 
Virginia  was  actuated  by  selfish  motives;  they  little  dreamed  that 
they  were  thus  giving  a  foothold  to  a  vigorous  people,  who  were 
destined  tp  play  a  strong  part  in  the  future  history  of  their 

The  people  thus  invited  to  settle  the  garden  spot  of  Virginia 
were  the  sons  of  the  men  who  followed  Cromwell.  They  were  men 
who  regarded  themselves,  according  to  Macaulay,  as  "kings  by  the 
right  of  an  earlier  creation  and  priests  by  the  interposition  of  an 
Almighty  hand."  King  James  I,  when  speaking  of  a  Scotch  Pres- 
bytery, said,  "Presbytery  agreeth  as  well  with  monarchy  as  God  and 
the  devil."  They  were  Protestants  and  detested  the  Catholics,  the 
enemies  of  their  forefathers,  and  they  despised  the  Episcopalians, 
their  oppressors.  They  constituted  the  outposts  of  our  earlier  civiliza- 
tion, their  homes  being  in  the  moimtains.  A  distinguished  writer, 
in  speaking  of  these  people,  says :  "That  these  Irish  Presbyte- 
rians M^ere  a  bold  and  hardy  race  is  proved  by  their  at  once  pushing 
past  tlic  settled  regions  and  plunging  into  the  wilderness  as  the 

118  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

leaders  of  the  white  advance.  They  were  the  first  and  last  set  of 
emigrants  to  do  this;  all  others  have  merely  followed  in  the  wake 
of  their  predecessors.  But  indeed  they  were  fitted  to  be  Americans 
from  the  very  start;  they  were  the  kinsfolk  of  the  Covenanters: 
they  deemed  it  a  religious  duty  to  interpret  their  own  Bible,  and 
held  for  a  divine  right  the  election  of  their  own  clergy.  The  creed 
of  the  backwoodsmen  who  had  a  creed  at  all  was  Presbyterianism, 
for  the  Episcopacy  of  the  tidewater  lands  obtained  no  foothold  in 
the  mountains,  and  the  Methodists  and  Baptists  had  but  just  be- 
gun to  appear  in  the  west,*  before  the  Revolution  broke  out." 

Governor  David  Campbell,  who  lived  and  died  at  Abingdon,  in 
speaking  of  these  people,  says :  "The  first  settlers  on  Holston  river 
were  a  remarkable  race  of  people,  for  their  intelligence,  enterprise 
and  hardy  adventure."  The  greater  portion  of  them  had  emi- 
grated from  the  counties  of  Botetourt,  Augusta  and  Frederick,  and 
others  from  along  the  same  valley  and  from  the  upper  counties 
of  Maryland  and  Pennsylvania,  and  generally,  where  they  had  any 
religious  opinions,  were  Presbyterians. 

A  very  large  proportion  were  religious,  and  many  were  mem- 
bers of'  the  church.  It  is  generally  supposed  that  the  motive 
actuating  the  early  explorers  and  settlers  of  this  country  was  the 
acquisition  of  wealth,  and  while  •  such  motive  may  have  had  its 
influence  on  some,  we  cannot  believe  that  such  was  the  real  motive 
of  the  great  body  of  our  early  settlers.  The  early  settlers  and 
forefathers  had  been  persecuted  in  their  homes  across  the  Atlantic 
because  of  their  independent .  spirit  and  their  undying  fealty  to 
the  doctrines  taught  by  Calvin  and  Knox ;  and  when  they  crossed 
the  waters  they  were  driven,  by  the  intolerant  spirit  of  the  estab- 
lished church,  beyond  the  lowlands  to  the  very  mountains,  where 
they  sought  a  place  and  opportunity  to  exercise  their  religion  ac- 
cording to  the  dictates  of  their  consciences.  The  important  part 
played  by  this  people  in  the  early  history  of  our  country  cannot  be 

Our  forefathers  were  inspired  and  governed  by  the  same  senti- 
ments that  actuated  the  founders  of  our  nation.  The  theology  of 
Calvin,  the  founder  of  the  republic  of  Geneva,  combined  with  the 
sturdy  independence  of  the  Scotch-Irish  settlers  of  the  American 
colonies,  gave  birth  to  our  republic.     "The  first  voice  raised  in 

*The  Winning  of  the  West,  Vol.  I.,  page  138. 

Soutliwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786.  119 

America  to  destroy  all  connection  with  Great  Britain  came  from 
the  Scotch-Irish  Presbyterians.*" 

The  Hon.  Wm.  C.  Preston,  of  South  Carolina,  a  native  of  Wash- 
ington county,  in  speaking  of  the  resemblance  between  the  consti- 
tution of  the  Presbyterian  Church  and  the  constitution  of  our 
country,  said :  "Certainly  it  was  the  most  remarkable  and  singular 
coincidence  that  the  constitution  of  the  Presbyteilian  Chuj-ch 
should  bear  such  a  close  and  striking  resemblance  to  the  political  con- 
stitution of  our  country."  f 

Not  only  were  they  the  first  to  demand  the  separation  of  the 
colonies  from  the  mother  country,  but  they  were  the  first  to  de- 
mand religious  liberty  and  the  separation  of  Church  and  State. 

Hanover  Presbytery,  of  which  the  Eev.  Chas.  Cummings  was  an 
honored  member,  prepared  a  petition  with  this  object  in  view  and 
presented  it  to  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  on  the  24th  of 
October,  1776,  the  petition  being  as  follows: 

"A  memorial  of  the  Presbytery  of  Hanover  was  presented  to  the 
House,  and  read :  setting  forth  that  they  are  governed  by  the  same 
sentiments  which  have  inspired  the  United  States  of  America, 
and  are  determined  that  nothing  in  their  power  and  influence  shall 
be  wanting  to  give  success  to  the  common  cause :  that  Dissenters 
from  the  Church  of  England  in  this  country  have  ever  been  desir- 
ous to  conduct  themselves  as  peaceable  members  of  the  civil  gov- 
ernment, for  which  reason  they  have  hitherto  submitted  to  several 
ecclesiastick  burthens  and  restrictions,  that  are  inconsistent  with 
equal  liberty,  but  that  now  when  the  many  and  grievous  oppres- 
sions of  our  mother  country  have  laid  this  continent  under  the 
necessity  of  casting  off  the  yoke  of  tyranny,  and  of  forming  inde- 
pendent governments,  upon  equitable  and  liberal  foundations,  they 
flatter  themselves  they  shall  be  freed  from  all  the  encumbrances 
which  a  spirit  of  domination,  prejudice  or  bigotry  hath  interwoven 
with  most  other  political  systems :  that  they  are  more  strongly  en- 
couraged to  expect  this,  by  the  declaration  of  rights,  so  universally 
applauded  for  the  dignity,  firmness  and  precision  with  which  it 
delineates  and  asserts  the  privileges  of  society  and  the  prerogatives 
of  human  nature,  and  which  they  embrace  as  the  Magna  Charta  of 
the  Commonwealth,  which  can  never  be  violated  without  endanger- 

*Bancroft's  His.  U.  S.,  Vol.  X.,  page  77. 
t Scotch-Irish  Seeds,  page  346. 

120  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1780. 

ing  the  grand  superstructure  it  was  destined  to  support:     There- 
fore they  rely  upon  this  declaration,  as  well  as  the  justice  of  the 
Legislature,  to  secure  to  them  the  free  exercise  of  their  religion, 
according  to  the  dictates  of  their  consciences :  and  that  they  should 
fall  short  in  their  duty  to  themselves  and  to  the  many  and  nu- 
merous congregations  under  their  care,  were  they  upon  this  occasion 
to  neglect  laying  before  the  House  a  statement  of  the  religious  griev- 
ances under  which  they  have  hitherto  labored,  that  they  may  no 
longer  be  continued  in  the  present  form  of  government:  that  it 
is  well  known  that  in  the  frontier  counties  which  are  justly  sup- 
posed to  contain  a  fifth  part  of  the  inliabitants  of  Virginia,  the 
dissenters  have  borne  the  heavy  burthens  of  purchasing  glebes  and 
supporting  the  established  clergy,  where  there  are  very  few  Episco- 
palians either  to  assist  in  bearing  the  expense  or  to  reap  the  ad- 
vantage: and  that  throughout  the  other  parts  of  the  country  there 
are  also  many  thousands  of  zealous  friends  and  defenders  of  the 
State  who,  besides  the  invidious  disadvantageous  restrictions  to 
which  they  have  been  subjected  annually,  pay  large  taxes  to  sup- 
port an  establishment  from  which  their  consciences  and  principles 
oblige  them  to  dissent,  all  which  are  so  many  violations  of  their 
natural  rights,  and  in  their  consequences  a  restraint  upon  freedom 
of  inquiry  and  private  judgment.     In  this  enlightened  age,  and  in 
a  land  where  all  are  united  in  the  most  strenuous  efforts  to  be  free, 
they  hope  and  expect  that  their   representatives  will  cheerfully 
concur  in  removing  every  species  of  religious  as  well  as  civil  bond- 
age.     That    every    argument    for    civil    liberty    gains    additional 
strength  when  applied  to  liberty  in  the  concerns  of  religion,  and 
that  there  is  no  argument  in  favor  of  establishing  the  Christian 
religion  but  what  may  be  pleaded  for  establishing  the  tenets  of  Ma- 
homet by  those  who  believe  in  the  Alcoran :  or,  if  this  be  not  true, 
it  is  at  least  impossible  for  the  magistrate  to  adjudge  the  right 
of  preference  among  the  various  sects  which  profess  the  Christian 
faith,  without  erecting  a  chair  of  infallibility  which  would  lead  us 
back  to  the  Church  of  Eome.    That  they  beg  leave  farther  to  repre- 
sent that  religious  establishments  are  highly  injurious  to  the  tem- 
poral interests  of  any  community,  without  insisting  upon  the  ambi- 
tion and  the  arbitrary  practices  of  those  who  aro  favored  by  govern- 
ment, or  the  intriguing  seditious  spirit  which  is  commonly  excited 
by  this,  as  well  as  every  other  kind  of  oppression.     Such  establish- 

Southwest  Virginia,  nJf6-1786.  131 

ments  greatly  retard  population  and  consequently  the  progress  of 
arts,  sciences  and  manufactures:  witness  the  rapid  growth  and 
improvement  of  the  northern  provinces  compared  with  this.  That 
no  one  can  deny  the  more  early  settlement,  and  the  many  supe- 
rior advantages  of  our  country,  would  have  invited  multitudes 
of  artificers,  mechanics  and  other  useful  members  of  society,  to  fix 
their  habitation  among  us,  who  have  either  remained  in  the  place 
ef  their  nativity,  or  preferred  worse  civil  government,  and  a  more 
barren  soil,  where  they  might  enjoy  the  rights  of  conscience  more 
fully  than  they  had  a  prospect  of  doing  in  this :  from  which  they 
infer  that  Virginia  might  now  have  been  the  capital  of  America, 
and  a  match  for  the  British  arms,  without  depending  upon  others 
for  the  necessaries  of  war,  had  it  not  been  prevented  by  her  reli- 
gious establishment.  jSTeither  can  it  be  made  appear  that  the  gos- 
pel needs  any  such  civil  aid :  they  rather  conceive  that  when  our 
Blessed  Savior  declares  his  kingdom  is  not  of  this  world,  he 
renounces  dependence  upon  State  power,  and  as  his  weapons  are 
spiritual  and  were  only  designed  to  have  influence  upon  the  judg- 
ment and  heart  of  man,  they  are  persuaded  that  if  mankind  were 
left  in  the  quiet  possession  of  their  unalienable  privileges,  Chris- 
tianity, as  in  the  days  of  the  Apostles,  would  continue  to  prevail 
and  flourish  in  the  greatest  purity  by  its  own  native  excellence, 
and  under  the  all-disposing  providence  of  God.  That  they  would 
also  humbly  represent,  that  the  only  proper  objects  of  civil  gov- 
ernment are  the  happiness  and  protection  of  men  in  the  present 
state  of  existence,  the  security  of  the  life,  liberty  and  property  of 
the  citizens,  and  to  restrain  the  vicious  and  encourage  the  virtuous 
by  wholesome  laws,  equally  extending  to  every  individual :  but  that 
the  duty  they  owe  their  Creator,  and  the  manner  of  discharging  it, 
can  only  be  directed  by  reason  and  conviction,  and  is  nowhere 
cognizable  but  at  the  tribunal  of  the  universal  judge,  and  that 
therefore  they  ask  no  ecclesiastical  establishments  for  themselves, 
neither  can  they  approve  of  them  when  granted  to  others,  and  earn- 
estly entreating  that  all  laws  now  in  force  in  this  Commonwealth 
which  countenance  religious  denominations  may  be  speedily  re- 
pealed, that  all  and  every  religious  sect  may  be  protected  in  the 
full  exercise  of  their  several  modes  of  worship,  and  exempted  from 
the  payment  of  all  taxes  for  the  support  of  any  church  whatever. 


Southivest  Virginia,  171,6-1786. 

farther  than  wliat  may  be  agreeable  to  their  own  private  choice,  or 
voluntary  obligations."* 

But  few  of  the  inhabitants  of  this  beautiful  country  at  the 
present  time  have  even  a  slight  idea  of  the  dangers  and  priva- 
tions endured  by  the  early  settlers,  the  dim  shadows  of  which  are 
vanishing  like  the  tints  in  a  dissolving  scene.  The  men  who 
worked  their  way  from  tlie  settlements  in  the  valley  to  their  future 

The  First  Temjiles. 

home,  groping  through  the  forest  without  a  road  and  with  nothing 
to  guide  them  in  their  course,  except  the  trail  of  the  Indian  and 
the  buffalo ;  at  night  resting  on  the  ground  with  no  roof  over  them 
save  the  branches  of  the  mighty  oak  or  the  broad  expanse  of 
heaven;  exploring  an  unknown  wilderness,  surrounded  by  insur- 
mountable obstacles  and  momentarily  threatened  with  assault  from 
their  deadly  enemies,  the  rattlesnake,  the  Indian  and  the  wild  beast 
of  the  forest,  but  always  accompanied  by  a  trust  in  their  God, 
came,  "with  the  Bible  in  one  hand  and  a  cross  in  the  other,  tread- 
ing the  sombre  shades  of  these  dark  old  woods  and  often  with  a 
boulder  of  granite  for  a  footstool,  and  the  eternal  cataracts  thundcr- 

*Journal  Va.  House  of  Delegates,  1776. 
resolution  by  many  years. 

This  petition  preceded  Jefferson 

Southwest   Virginia,  17J^6-1786.  123 

ing  amid  the  everlasting  solitudes  for  an  organ,  these  devout  men 
Avorshipped  their  God  according  to  the  dictates  of  their  consciences." 
Each  emigrant  brought  with  him  some  clothes,  a  little  bedding, 
guns  and  ammunition,  cooking  utensils,  seed  corn,  an  axe,  a  saw 
and  the  Bible.  Such  were  the  men  and  the  manner  of  their  com- 
ing, who  cleared  the  forests  and  opened  the  beautiful  and  rich 
farms  that  are  now  spread  out  upon  our. hills  and  mountain  sides 
and  grassy  plains. 

The  early  settlers  in  their  intercourse  with  others  were  kind, 
beneficent  and  disinterested:  extending  to  all  the  most  generous 
hospitality  that  their  circumstances  could  afford.  That  selfish- 
ness which  prompts  to  liberality  for  the  sake  of  remuneration  and 
professes  the  civilities  of  life  with  an  eye  to  individual  interest 
was  unknown  to  them.  They  were  kind  for  kindness'  sake  and 
sought  no  other  recompense  than  the  never  failing  concomitant 
of  good  deeds,  the  reward  of  an  approving  conscience. 

There  existed  in  each  settlement  a  -perfect  unison  of  feeling. 
Similitude  of  situation  and  community  of  danger  operated  as  a 
magic  charm  and  stifled  in  their  birth  those  little  bickerings  which 
are  so  apt  to  disturb  the  quiet  of  society.* 

Ambition  of  preferment,  the  pride  of  place,  too  often  hin- 
drances to  social  intercourse,  were  unknown  among  them.  Equal- 
ity of  condition  rendered  them  strangers  alike  to  the  baneful  dis- 
tinctions of  wealth  and  other  adventitious  circumstances,  a  sense 
of  mutual  dependence  for  their  common  security,  linked  them  in 
amity  and  they  conducted  their  several  purposes  in  harmonious  con- 
cert; together  they  toiled  and  together  they  suffered.  Such  were 
the  pioneers  of  the  Southwest;  and  the  greater  part  of  mankind 
might  now  derive  advantage  from  the  contemplation  of  their  "hum- 
ble virtues,  their  hospitable  homes,  their  spirits  potential,  noble, 
proud  and  free,  their  self-respect  grafted  on  innocent  thoughts, 
their  days  of  health  and  nights  of  sleep,  their  toils,  by  dangers 
dignified,  yet  guiltless,  their  hopes  of  cheerful  old  age  and  a  quiet 
grave  with  cross  and  garland  over  its  green  turf  and  their  grand- 
children's love  for  an  epitaph."* 

The  early  settlers  of  this  section  of  Virginia  were  a  strong, 
stern  people,  simple  in  their  habits,  God-fearing  in  their  practices, 
imbibing  the  spirit  of  freedom,  such  as  is  usually  found  among  the 


124  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

inhabitants  of  a  mountainous  country,  kind  in  their  disposition 
towards  the  well-disposed  and  unmerciful  in  their  dealings  with 
their  enemies.  They  were  upright  in  all  their  dealings,  fearless 
advocates  of  the  right  and  undying  lovers  of  their  country. 

Dr.  Dodridge,  an  author  who  wrote  from  his  personal  knowl- 
edge, says  that  "linsey  coats  and  bed-gowns,  were  the  universal  dress 
of  the  women  in  the  early  times."  The  weed,  now  known  among 
us  as  the  "wild  nettle,"  then  furnished  the  material  which  served 
to  clothe  the  persons  of  our  sires  and  dames."  It  was  cut  down 
while  yet  green  and  treated  much  in  the  same  manner  in  which 
flax  is  now  treated. 

The  fibrous  bark,  with  the  exception  of  the  shortness  of  the 
fibres,  seemed  to  be  adapted  to  the  same  uses.  When  this  "flax," 
if  I  may  so  term  it,  was  prepared,  it  was  mixed  with  buffalo  hair, 
and  woven  into  a  substantial  cloth  in  which  the  men  and  women 
were  clothed.  It  is  a  true  maxim,  "Necessity  is  the  mother  of 

"The  furniture  of  the  table,  for  several  years  after  the  settle- 
ment of  this  country,  consisted  of  a  few  pewter  dishes,  plates  and 
spoons;  but  mostly  of  wooden  bowls,  trenchers  and  noggins.  If 
these  last  were  scarce,  gourds  and  hard-shelled  squashes  made  up 
the  deficiency.  Iron  pots,  knives  and  forks  were  brought  from  the 
East,  with  the  salt  and  iron  on  horseback." 

"In  our  whole  display  of  furniture,  the  delft,  china  and  silver 
were  unknown.  It  did  not  then,  as  now,  require  contributions 
from  the  four  quarters  of  the  globe  to  furnish  the  breakfast  table, 
viz.,  the  silver  from  Mexico,  the  coffee  from  the  West  Indies,  the 
tea  from  China  and  the  delft  or  porcelain  from  Europe  or  Asia. 
Yet,  a  homely  fare,  unsightly  cabins  and  furniture  produced  a 
hardy  race,  who  planted  the  first  footsteps  of  civilization  in  the 
immense  regions  of  the  West.  Inured  to  hardship,  bravery  and 
labor  from  their  early  youth,  they  sustained  with  manly  fortitude 
the  fatigue  of  the  chase,  the  campaign  and  scout,  and  with  'strong 
arms  turned  the  wilderness  into  fruitful  fields,'  and  have  left  to 
their  descendants  the  rich  inheritance  of  an  immense  empire 
blessed  with  peace,  wealth  and  prosperity."* 

"For  a  long  time  after  the  settlement  of  this  country,  the  in- 


Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  125 

habitants  in  general  married  young.  There  was  no  distinction  of 
rank  and  very  little  of  fortune.  On  these  accounts  the  first  impres- 
sion of  love  resulted  in  marriage,  and  a  family  establishment  cost 
but  little  labor  and  nothing  else. 

"A  description  of  a  wedding  from  beginning  to  end  will  serve 
to  show  the  manners  of  our  forefathers  and  mark  the  grade  of  civi- 
lization which  has  succeeded  to  their  rude  state  of  society,  in  the 
course  of  a  few  years. 

"In  the  first  years  of  the  settlement  of  a  country,  a  wedding  en- 
gaged the  attention  of  the  whole  neighborhood,  and  the  frolic  was 
anticipated  by  young  and  old  with  eager  expectation.  This  is  not 
to  be  wondered  at  when  it  is  told  that  a  wedding  was  almost  the 
only  gathering  which  was  not  accompanied  with  the  labor  of  reap- 
ing, log-rolling,  building  a  cabin,  or  planning  some  scout  or  cam- 
paign. On  the  morning  of  the  wedding  day  the  groom  and  his  at- 
tendants assembled  at  the  house  of  his  father  for  the  purpose  of 
reaching  the  home  of  his  bride  by  noon,  which  was  the  usual  time 
for  celebrating  the  nuptials  and  which,  for  certain  reasons,  must 
take  place  before  dinner. 

"Let  the  reader  imagine  an  assemblage  of  people  without  a 
store,  tailor  or  mantua-maker  within  a  hundred  miles,  and  an  as- 
semblage of  horses  without  a  blacksmith  or  saddle  within  an  equal 
distance.  The  gentlemen  dressed  in  shoepacks,  moccasins,  leather 
breeches,  leggings,  linsey  hunting  shirts,  and  all  home-made.  The 
ladies  dressed  in  linsey  petticoats  and  linsey  or  linen  bed-gowns, 
coarse  shoes,  stockings  and  handkerchiefs  and  buckskin  gloves,  if 
any.  If  there  were  any  rings,  buckles,  buttons  or  ruffles,  they  were 
the  relics  of  olden  times;  family  pieces  from  parents  or  grand- 
parents. The  horses  were  caparisoned  with  old  saddles,  old  bridles 
or  halters,  and  pack-saddles  with  a  bag  or  blanket  thrown  over 
them;  a  rope  or  string  as  often  constituted  the  girth  as  a  piece  of 

"The  march,  in  double  file,  was  often  interrupted  by  the  narrow- 
ness of  our  mountain  paths,  as  they  were  called,  for  we  had  no 
roads,  and  these  difficulties  were  often  increased  by  the  good  and 
sometimes  the  ill-will  of  neighbors  by  felling  trees  and  tying  grape- 
vines across  the  way.  Sometimes  an  ambuscade  was  formed  by 
the  wayside,  and  an  unexpected  discharge  of  several  guns  took 

126  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

place,  so  as  to  cover  the  wedding  party  with  smoke.  Let  the  reader 
imagine  the  scene  which  followed  this  discharge ;  the  sudden  spring 
of  the  horses,  the  shrieks  of  the  girls  and  the  chivalrous  bustle  of 
their  partners  to  save  them  from  falling.  Sometimes,  in  spite  of 
all  that  could  be  done  to  prevent  it,  some  were  thrown  to  the 
ground.  If  a  wrist,  elbow  or  ankle  happened  to  be  sprained,  it  was 
tied  up  with  a  handkerchief,  and  little  more  said  or  thought 
about  it. 

"The  ceremony  of  the  marriage  preceded  the  dinner,  which  was 
a  substantial  backwoods  feast  of  beef,  pork,  fowls,  and  sometimes 
venison  and  bear  meat  roasted  and  boiled  with  plenty  of  potatoes, 
cabbage  and  other  vegetables.  During  the  dinner  the  greatest 
hilarity  prevailed.  The  table  might  be  a  large  slab  of  timber, 
hewed  out  with  a  broad-axe,  supported  by  four  sticks,  set  in  auger 
holes;  and  the  furniture,  some  old  pewter  dishes  and  plates;  the 
rest,  wooden  bowls  and  trenchers:  a  few  pewter  spoons  much  bat- 
tered about  the  edges  were  to  be  seen  at  some  tables.  The  rest  were 
made  of  horn.  If  knives  were  scarce  the  deficiency  was  made  up 
with  scalping  knives  which  were  carried  in  sheaths  suspended  to 
the  belt  of  the  hunting  shirt.     Every  man  carried  one. 

"After  dinner  the  dancing  commenced  and  generally  lasted  until 
the  next  morning.  The  figures  of  the  dancers  were  three  and  four 
handed  reels,  or  square  sets  and  jigs.  The  commencement  was 
always  a  square  form,  which  was  followed  by  what  was  called  jig- 
ging it  off;  that  is,  two  of  the  four  would  single  out  for  a  jig,  and 
were  followed  by  the  remaining  couple.  The  jigs  were  often  ac- 
companied with  what  was  called  cutting  out,  that  is,  when  either 
of  the  parties  became  tired  of  the  dance,  on  intimation,  the  place 
was 'supplied  by  some  one  of  the  company,  without  any  interrup- 
tion to  the  dance.  In  this  way  the  dance  was  often  continued  till 
the  musician  was  heartily  tired  of  his  situation.  Toward  the  lat- 
ter part  of  the  night,  if  any  of  the  company  through  weariness  at- 
tempted to  conceal  themselves  for  the  purpose  of  sleeping,  they 
were  hunted  up,  paraded  on  the  floor,  and  the  fiddler  ordered  to 
play,  'Hang  out  till  to-morrow  morning.' 

"About  nine  or  ten  o'clock  a  deputation  of  young  ladies  stole 
off  the  bride  and  put  her  to  bed.  In  doing  this  it  frequently  hap- 
pened that  they  had  to  ascend  a  ladder,  instead  of  a  pair  of  stairs, 

Southwest  Virginia,  1740-1786.  137 

leading  from  the  dining  and  ball  room  to  a  loft,  the  floor  of 
which  was  made  of  clapboards  lying  loose. 

"This  ascent,  one  might  think,  would  put  the  bride  and  her 
attendants  to  the  blush;  but  the  foot  of  the  ladder  was  commonly 
behind  the  door,  which  was  purposely  opened  for  the  occasion, 
and  its  rounds  at  the  inner  ends  were  well  hung  with  hunting- 
shirts,  dresses  and  other  articles  of  clothing.  The  candles  being 
on  the  opposite  side  of  the  house,  the  exit  of  the  bride  was  noticed 
but  by  few. 

"This  done,  a  deputation  of  young  men,  in  like  manner,  stole 
off  the  groom  and  placed  him  snugly  by  the  side  of  his  bride.  The 
dance  still  continued;  and  if  seats  happened  to  be  scarce,  as  was 
often  the  case,  every  young  man  when  not  engaged  in  the  dance, 
was  obliged  to  offer  his  lap  as  a  seat  for  one  of  the  girls;  and  the 
offer  was  sure  to  be  accepted.  In  the  midst  of  this  hilarity  the 
bride  and  groom  were  not  forgotten.  Pretty  late  in  the  night 
some  one  would  remind  the  company  that  the  new  couple  must 
stand  in  need  of  some  refreshments.  Black  Betty,  which  was  the 
name  of  the  bottle,  was  called  for  and  sent  up  the  ladder;  but 
sometimes  Black  Betty  did  not  go  alone.  I  have  sometimes  seen 
as  much  bread,  beef,  pork  and  cabbage  sent  along  as  would  afford 
a  good  meal  for  half  a  dozen  hungry  men.  The  young  couple 
were  compelled  to  eat  and  drink  more  or  less  of  whatever  was 

"But  to  return:  it  often  happened  that  some  neighbors  or  rela- 
tions, not  being  asked  to  the  wedding,  took  offence,  and  the 
mode  of  revenge  adopted  by  them  on  such  occasions  was  that 
of  cutting  off  the  manes,  foretops,  and  tails  of  the  horses  of  the 
wedding  company. 

"On  returning  to  the  infare,  the  order  of  procession  and  the 
race  for  Black  Betty  was  the  same  as  before.  The  feasting  and 
dancing  often  lasted  several  days,  at  the  end  of  which  the  whole 
company  were  so  exhausted  with  loss  of  sleep  that  many  days' 
rest  were  requisite  to  fit  them  to  return  to  their  ordinary  labors." 


"This  constituted  one  of  the  greatest  amusements,  and,  in  many 
instances,  one  of  the  chief  employments  of  the  early  settlers.  The 
various  intrigues  of  a  skillful  hunter,  such  as  mimicking  a  turkey. 

128  Southtvest  Virginia,  1740-1786. 

owl,  wolf,  deer,  etc.,  were  soon  learned,  and  the  eye  was  taught 
to  catch,  at  a  glance,  the  faintest  impressions  left  upon  the  earth 
by  any  animal.  IMarks  which  would  be  by  any  but  a  hunter 
overlooked  were  easily  detected.  The  times  and  grounds  on 
which  elk,  deer,  etc.,  fed  were  soon  learned,  and  then  the  important 
lesson  of  preventing  spells  or  enchantments  by  enemies  was 
studied,  for  it  is  a  singular  fact  that  all  hunters  are  more  or  less 
superstitious.  Frequently,  on  leaving  home,  the  wife  would  throw 
the  axe  at  her  husband  to  give  him  good  luck.  If  he  chanced  to 
fail  to  kill  game,  his  gun  was  enchanted  or  spelled,  and  some  old 
woman  was  shot  in  effigy,  then  a  silver  bullet  would  be  run  with  a 
needle  through  it  and  shot  at  her  picture.  To  remove  these  spells, 
they  would  sometimes  unbreech  their  rifles,  and  lay  them  in  a 
clear  running  stream  for  a  certain  number  of  days.  If  this  failed, 
they  would  borrow  patching  from  some  other  hunter,  which 
transferred  all  the  bad  luck  to  the  lender,  etc. 

"Game  was  plenty  at  the  time  this  country  was  first  settled  by 
the  whites,  and,  acordingly,  the  woods  furnished  most  of  ihe 
meat.  The  elks  and  buffaloes  were  generally  killed  at  the  licks 
whither  they  repaired  to  salt  themselves.  Animals  were  hunted 
there  not  merely  for  their  meat,  but  for  their  skins  and  furs. 
These  served  to  pay  for  powder,  lead,  or  anything  else,  being  nomi- 
nally the  currency  of  the  country. 

"Neither  was  hunting  a  mere  pastime,  devoid  of  skill,  as  it  now 
is.  The  hunter  might  be  considered  somewhat  of  a  meteorologist; 
he  paid  particular  attention  to  the  winds,  rains,  snows,  and  frosts, 
for  almost  every  change  altered  the  location  of  the  game.  He 
knew  the  cardinal  points  of  the  compass  by  the  thick  bark  and 
moss  on  the  north  side  of  a  tree,  so  that  during  the  darkest  and 
most  gloomy  night  he  knew  which  was  the  north,  and  so  the 
direction  of  his  home  or  camp. 

"The  natural  habits  of  the  deer  were  well  studied;  and  hence  he 
knew  at  what  times  they  fed,  etc.  If,  in  hunting,  he  found  a  deer 
at  feed,  he  stopped,  and  though  he  might  be  open  to  it,  did  not  seek 
to  obscure  himself,  but  waited  till  it  raised  its  head  and  looked 
at  him.  He  rem.ained  motionless  till  the  deer,  satisfied  that 
nothing  was  in  sight,  again  commenced  feeding.  He  then  began 
to  advance,  if  he  had  the  wind  of  it,  and  if  not,  he  retreated  and 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  139 

came  up  another  way,  so  as  to  place  the  deer  between  himself  and 
the  wind.  As  long  as  the  deer's  head  was  down,  he  continued  to 
advance  till  he  saw  it  shake  the  tail.  In  a  moment  he  was  the  same 
motionless  object,  till  again  it  put  down  its  head.  In  this  way  he 
Avould  soon  approach  to  within  sixty  yards,  when  his  unerring  rifle 
did  the  work  of  death.  It  is  a  curious  fact  that  deer  never  put 
their  heads  to  the  ground,  or  raise  it,  without  shaking  the  tail  be- 
fore doing  so."* 


130  Soutluvest  Virginia,  17 46-17 S6. 




The  House  of  Burgesses  of  Virginia  in  tlie  fall  of  the  year 
1772,  in  answer  to  the  petition  of  the  inhabitants  and  settlers  on 
the  waters  of  the  Holston  and  New  rivers,  representing  their  in- 
conveniences by  reason  of  the  extent  of  Botetourt  county  and  their 
remote  situation  from  the  courthouse,  with  the  consent  of  the 
Governor  and  Council  enacted  a  law  providing  that  from  and 
after  the  first  day  of  December,  1772,  the  said  county  of  Bote- 
tourt should  be  divided  into  two  distinct  counties;  that  is  to  say, 
all  that  part  of  said  county  within  a  line  to  run  up  the  east  side 
of  New  river  to  the  mouth  of  Culberson  creek,  thence  a  direct  line 
to  the  Catawba  road  where  it  crosses  the  dividing  ridge  between 
tlie  north  fork  of  Roanoke  and  the  waters  of  New  river,  thence 
with  the  top  of  the  ridge  to  the  bend  where  it  turns  eastwardl.y, 
thence  a  south  course,  crossing  Little  river  to  the  top  of  the  Blue 
Eidge  mountain,  shall  be  established  as  one  distinct  county,  to  be 
called  and  known  by  the  name  of  Fincastle ;  and  all  that  other  part 
thereof  which  lies  to  the  east  and  northeast  of  said  line  shall  be 
one  other  distinct  county  and  retain  the  name  of  Botetourt.  The 
act  establishing  Fincastle  did  not  designate  the  place  of  holding 
the  court  of  the  county,  but,  by  order  of  the  Governor  of  the 
Colony,  the  Lead  Mines,  now  in  Wythe  county,  Virginia,  was  desig- 
nated as  the  county  seat  of  the  new  county.* 

Pursuant  to  a  commission  from  the  Governor  of  the  Colony 
bearing  date  December  1,  1772,  directed  to 

William    Preston,  William  Inglis, 

William   Christian,  John  Montgomery, 

Stephen  Trigg,  Eobert  Doach, 

Walter  Crockett,  James  McGavock, 

Anthony  Bledsoe,  James  Thompson, 

Arthur  Campbell,  William  Eussell, 

Benjamin  Estill,  Samuel   Crockett, 

Alexander  McKee, 

*8  Hen.  Stat.,  page  600. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17JiG-J786.  131 

the  first  County  Court  for  Fincastle  county  assembled  at  the 
Lead  Mines,  on  New  river,  in  the  present  county  of  Wythe,  on 
the  5th  day  of  January,  1773.  The  following  m^^anbers  of  the 
court  being  present: 

Arthur  Campbell,  James  Thompson, 

-William  Preston,  William  Inglis, 

William   Christian,  Stephen  Trigg, 

Walter  Crockett,  James  McGavock. 

Arthur  Campbell  and  James  Thompson  administered  the  oath 
to  William  Preston  and  William  Inglis,  and  they  to : 

William   Christian,  Stephen  Trigg, 

Robert  Doach,  Walter   Crockett, 

James  McGavock,  James   Thompson, 

Arthur  Campbell. 

Subsequently  in  the  year  1773,  William  Campbell,  James  Mc- 
Corkle  and  William  Herbert  were  commissioned  and  qualified  as 
members  of  the  court.  The  following  officers  of  the  new  county 
qualified  on  that  day: 

Sheriff  Fincastle  count}', 
^William  Preston. 

Deputy  Sheriffs : 
Daniel  Trigg,  John  Floyd, 

James   Thompson,  Henry  Moore. 

Surveyor  Fincastle  County, 
William  Preston. 

Deputy  Surveyors : 
John  Floyd,  Robert  Preston, 

Daniel  Smith,  Robert  Doach, 

William  Russell,  James   Douglas. 

Clerk  Fincastle  county, 
John  Byrd. 

Deputy  Clerks : 
William    Christian, 
Stephen  Trigg,  ■ 
Richard  Madison. 

132  Southwest  Virginia,  174-6-1786. 

King-'s  Counsel  or  Dept.  Attorney  : 
John  Aylett,  Jan.  5th,  1773. 
Thomas  Madison,  May  3rd,  1774. 

The  following  attorneys  qualified  in  this  court  during  the  exist- 
ence of  the  county: 

Ephraim  Dun! op,  Luke  Bowyer, 

John  May,  Jolin  Todd, 

Harry  Innes,  Charles  Simm, 

John  Aylett,  Gabriel  Jones, 

Benjamin  Lawson,  Thomas   Madison. 

On  the  first  day  of  the  court  many  interesting  orders  were  en- 
tered, several  of  the  number  being  here  copied  as  entered : 

"The  Court  doth  appoint  the  house  adjoining  the  Court  House, 
where  the  court  is  now  held,  for  a  prison,  which  house  William 
Preston,  Sheriff,  doth  protest  against  as  insufficient. 

"Ordered  that  Stephen  Trigg  send  for  weights  and  measures 
for  the  use  of  the  said  county,  as  soon  as  possible  and  on  as  low 
terms  as  he  sells  goods  to  his  best  customers  on.^' 

"Ordered  that  John  Byrd  do  provide  all  necessary  law  books  for 
this  county,  and  that  he  bring  in  his  charge." 

A  number  of  orders  were  entered  by  the  court  on  the  first  day 
of  its  existence,  in  regard  to  that  section  of  Fincastle  county  lying 
iipon  the  waters  of  the  Holston  and  Clinch  rivers. 

Leave  was  given  Francis  Whitney  and  William  Kennedy  to 
erect  mills  on  the  properties  on  which  they  lived,  on  the  Holston 
river  and  the  waters  of  Holston  river. 

In  this  connection  it  is  worthy  of  notice,  tliat  at  the  time  per- 
mission was  given  to  Kennedy  and  Whitney  to  erect  their  mills, 
there  was  but  one  mill  on  the  waters  of  the  Holston,  so  far  as  the 
records  show,  to-wit:  the  mill  of  Arthur  Campbell  at  Royal  Oak. 

"It  is  further  ordered  by  the  court  that  Williiim  Edmiston, 
George  Adams,  John  Beaty,  Joseph  Drake,  David  Snodgrass  and 
James  Kincannon,  or  any  three  of  them,  being  first  sworn,  do  view 
the  nighest  and  best  way  from  the  Town  House  (now  in  Smyth 
County,  Va.,)  to  the  Eighteen  Mile  creek  (now  Abingdon),  and 

It  seems  that  there  was  some  contention  among  the  settlers  on 
Holston  as  to  the  location  of  this  road;  for,  on  the  3nd  day  of 

South  IV est  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  133 

^iarcli,  1773,  the  above  order  was  set  aside  by  the  court,  and  on 
that  day  it  was  ordered  that  John  Hays,  Benjamin  Logan,  William 
Campbell,  Arthur  Bowen  and  Thomas  Eamsey,  or  any  three  of 
them,  being  first  sworn,  do  view  the  several  ways  proposed  for  said 
road  and  make  a  report  of  the  conveniences  and  inconveniences 
attending  the  same.  The  viewers  thus  appointed  made  their  re- 
port to  the  County  Court  on  July  6,  1773,  recommending  that  the 
lower  road  be  established,  which  report  was  confirmed  and  the  road 
established,  and  William  Campbell,  William  Edmiston  and  James 
Bryan  were  appointed  overseers  of  the  said  road. 

The  above  is  all  the  information  that  the  records  contain  of  the 
controversy  in  regard  to  the  establishment  of  this  road,  but  I  ap- 
prehend that  the  action  of  the  court  in  establishing  the  road  as 
they  did  had  considerable  bearing  in  settling  the  future  location 
of  the  county  seat  of  Washington  county  at  Abingdon. 

Upon  the  second  day  of  the  court  it  was  recommended  to  his 
Excellency  the  Governor  that  he  wnll  be  pleased  to  establish  the 
courthouse  for  this  county  at  a  piece  of  land  commonly  called 
]\rc(^airs  place,  now  the  property  of  Eoss  &  Co.,  and  the  lands 
of  Samuel  Crockett,  in  lieu  of  the  Lead  Mines,  for  the  several 
reasons  following: 

That  tlie  said  McCall's  place  and  Crockett's  lies  on  the  Great 
Eoad  that  passes  through  the  county,  and  that  it  is  well  watered, 
timbered  and  level. 

That  it  is  more  central  than  the  mines,  and  that  it  is  in  the 
neigbborhood  of  a  great  deal  of  good  lands  and  meadows. 

That  the  Lead  ]\Iines  are  near  the  south  line  of  the  county,  that 
there  is  no  s})ring  convenient,  the  place  is  very  bare  of  timber  and 
in  a  neighborhood  where  there  is  very  little  pasture,  and  it  is 
certainly  off  the  leading  road. 

From  which  order  Arthur  Campbell  dissented. 

While  the  records  are  to  some  extent  indefinite  as  to  the  action 
of  the  Governor  upon  this  petition,  it  is  clear  that  the  county  seat 
was  not  removed  from  the  Lead  Mines  during  the  existence  of 
the  county  of  Fincastle,  as  is  evident  from  other  records  that 
have  a  bearing  upon  this  subject. 

The  County  Court  on  March  2,  1774,  entered  the  following 
order : 

^'Ordered  that  the  surveyor  lay  off  the  prison  bounds,  and  that 

134  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

he  include  all  the  houses  and  some  part  of  the  waters."  This 
clearly  applied  to  the  Lead  Mines. 

The  act  of  the  Legislature  of  Virginia  establishing  Montgomery 
county  directed  that  the  county  scat  should  be  Fort  Chiswell,  and 
one  of  the  first  orders  of  that  court  was  to  appoint  commissioners  to 
contract  for  and  superintend  the  erection  of  a  courthouse. 

The  above  facts,  when  taken  in  connection  with  the  circumstance 
that  Fort  Chiswell  was  at  no  time  mentioned  in  the  records  of  the 
County  Court  of  Fincastle  county,  except  in  the  petition  above  set 
out,  are  conclusive  in  regard  to  this  matter. 

On  May  2,  1773,  the  court  ordered  that  Robert  Davis,  Alexan- 
der Wylie,  Eobert  Buchanan,  and  Hugh  Gallion,  any  three  of 
whom  being  duly  sworn,  do  view  the  nighest  way  from  James  Davis' 
(at  the  head  spring  of  the  Middle  Fork  of  the  Holston)  to  James 
Catherine's  (near  the  head  spring  of  the  South  Fork  of  the  Hol- 
ston), but  the  records  of  Fincastle  fail  to  show  that  this  road  was 

The  next  order  of  importance  entered  by  the  court  was  on  May 
5,  1773,  when  the  court  ordered  that  Isaac  Riddle,  Wesley  White, 
James  Young  and  James  Montgomery  do  view  the  nighest  and  best 
way  from  Eleven  Mile  creek,  on  Holston,  by  Jones'  place  at  the 
crossing  place,  going  to  Watauga,  and  report. 

The  commissioners  made  their  report  on  July  6,  1773,  and  the 
road  was  established,  and  James  Montgomery,  James  Young  and 
Isaac  Riddle  were  appointed  overseers. 

On  March  3,  1773,  James  McCarthy,  Matthew  Mounts,  John 
Smith,  Thomas  Byrd,  Nathan  Richerson  and  Peter  Lee,  or  any 
three  of  them,  being  first  sworn,  were  ordered  to  view  the  nighest 
and  best  way  from  the  Town  House  on  Holston  to  Castle's  Woods 
on  Clinch  river,  and  make  report. 

The  commissioners  made  their  report  on  July  6,  1773.  and  the 
road  was  partially  established,  beginning  at  John  Dunkin's  in  Elk 
Garden,  thence  over  the  mountains  to  Poor  Valley,  about  five  miles 
to  the  westward  of  the  old  path,  and  from  thence  by  the  Big  Lick, 
through  Lyon's  Gap  to  the  Town  House. 

On  March  2,  1773,  the  court  directed  John  Maxwell,  Robert  Al- 
lison and  Robert  Campbell,  or  any  three  of  them,  to  view  the 
nighest  and  best  way  from  Catherine's  Mill  to  Charles  Allison's, 
and  so  on  to  Sinclair's  Bottom,  and  report. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  135 

On  July  6,  1773,  the  commissioners  reported,  and  the  court  di- 
rected a  road  to  l)e  established  from  Catherine's  Mill  to  Charles 
Allison's  house  on  the  condition  that  the  people  on  the  South  Fork, 
or  any  others  on  same  road  who  think  it  useful,  do  cut  the  same 

On  the  same  day  the  court  ordered  that  William  Edmiston, 
Kobert  Edmiston,  Alexander  McNutt,  Robert  Buchanan,  and  John 
Edmiston,  any  three  of  whom  may  act,  do  view  a  road  from  Charles 
Allison's  house  down  the  South  Fork  to  Robert  Edmiston's  house 
and  report. 

On  May  5,  1773,  the  County  Court  directed  Arthur  Camp- 
bell to  take  a  list  of  the  tithables  on  the  Clinch  river  and  on  all  its 
forks,  as  low  as  the  Elk  Garden,  and  on  the  Wolf  Hill  creek. 

And  William  Eussell  to  take  a  list  of  the  tithables  from  the 
Elk  Garden,  on  the  Clinch,  down  to  the  county  line. 

And  Anthony  Bledsoe  to  take  a  list  of  the  tithables  from  Cap- 
tain Campbell's  down  to  the  county  line,  on  the  North,  South,  and 
Middle  Forks  of  Holston  river. 

And  that  Captain  James  Thompson  do  take  a  list  of  the  tith- 
ables in  Captain  William  Campbell's  company. 

On  May  4,  1773,  the  court  directed  James  Hays,  John  Hays, 
"^  Archibald  Buchanan,  and  Robert  Davis  to  view  the  nighest  and 
best  way  by  Robert  Davis'  into  the  leading  road  from  Holston. 

At"  the  meeting  of  the  County  Court  on  July  6,  1773,  Jonathan 
Jenning  was  fined  forty  shillings  for  speaking  of  the  court  with 
contempt  and  saying  that  they  were  self-interested  and  partial. 

And  on  the  same  day  Stephen  Trigg,  James  McCorkle,  Walter 
Crockett  and  James  McGavock  were  directed  to  agree  with  work- 
men to  repair  the  second  house  from  the  courthouse  for  a  prison 
in  such  manner  as  is  necesssary. 

And  on  the  9th  day  of  July,  1773,  Joseph  Black,  Andrew  Col- 
vill,  Samuel  Ewen,  William  Blackburn,  George  Blackburn,  Samuel 
Briggs,  Davis  Galloway,  John  Berry,  Christopher  Acklin,  John 
Keswick,  John  Vance  and  Benjamin  Logan  were  directed  to  clear 
the  nearest  and  best  way  from  Samuel  Brigg's^  on  Eighteen  Mile 
creek,  to  James  Bryan's,  on  Eleven  Mile  creek. 

On  November  2,  1773,  on  the  petition  of  a  number  of  the  in- 
habitants, it  was  ordered  that  William  Priest,  Henry  Willis,  Jo- 
seph Martin,  William  Bowen  and  Joseph  Craven,  any  three  of 

136  Southwest  VirgiJiia,  1746-1786. 

whom  may  act,  after  being  duly  sworn,  do  view  the  best  way  from 
Maiden  Springs  settlement  (now  in  Tazewell  county)  into  the 
Great  Road. 

No  further  orders  pertaining  to  Washington  county  were  en- 
tered by  the  court  until  March  2,  1774,  on  which  day  Patrick  Por- 
ter was  given  leave  to  build  a  mill  on  Falling  creek,  the  waters 
of  Clinch  river,  this  being  the  fii-st  mill  erected  on  Clinch  river, 
so  far  as  the  records  disclose. 

On  the  same  day,  on  the  motion  of  Charles  Allison,  leave  was 
given  him  to  build  a  mill  on  his  land,  on  the  South  Fork  of  Hol- 
ston,  near  the  head  spring. 

On  the  same  day  the  court  appointed  Andrew  Miller  and  Thomas 
Ramsay  commissioners  to  view  the  nighest  and  best  way  from 
Thomas  Ramsay's,  by  Kennedy's  mill,  to  the  Great  Road. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  court  on  May  3,  1774,  tlie  court,  on  the 
petition  of  the  inhabitants  of  Beaver  creek,  m;dei"ed  Benjamin  Lo- 
gan to  open  a  road  from  James  Fulkerson's  to  the  wagon  road  at 
Joseph  Black's  (now  Abingdon),  the  best  and  most  convenient  way. 

On  the  same  day  the  court  directed  Anthony  Bledsoe  to  take  a 
list  of  the  tithables  in  Captains  Looney's,  Shelby's,  and  Cocke's  com- 
panies, William  Campbell  in  his  own  and  Captain  Arthur  Camp- 
bell's companies,  and  William  Russell  in  his  own  and  Captain 
Smith's  companies. 

The  County  Court  of  Fincastle  county  was  composed  of  men  of 
dignity  and  respectability,  and  they  purposed  to  deal  with  the  at- 
torneys practicing  at  tlieir  bar  in  such  a  manner  as  to  command 
the  respect  of  the  bar  and  the  citizens  of  the  county,  and,  as  an 
evidence  of  the  manner  in  which  they  dealt  with  the  members  of 
the  legal  profession,  we  here  copy  an  order  made  1)y  this  court  on 
May  3,  1774: 

"John  Gabriel  Jones,  having  misbehaved  himself  in  the  court,  it 
is  ordered  that  for  his  contempt  he  make  his  fine  with  our  Ijord, 
the  King,  by  the  ])ayniont  of  twenty  shillings,  and  that  he  be 
taken,"  etc. 

On  the  same  day  a  peculiar  order  was  entered,  which  read  as 
follows : 

"John  Dougherty  came  into  court,  and,  it  being  fully  proved 
that  his  left  ear  had  been  bitten  off  by  a  person  in  an  affray,  it  is 
ordered  that  the  same  be  recorded."     It  is  hard  to  perceive  his  ob- 

Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  137 

ject  in  making  this  proof  and  having  it  recorded  unless  there  ex- 
isted at  that  time,  or  at  an  earlier  date,  some  law  or  custom  by 
which  criminals  lost  their  ears. 

At  the  August  term  of  this  court  it  was  directed  that  a  road  be 
built  from  Arthur  Camjjbell's  mill  to  Blue  Spring,  at  the  head 
of  Cripple  creek,  by  way  of  Eye  Bottom,  and  on  August  3d,  being 
the  same  day  as  the  above  order,  the  court  directed  a  road  to  be 
built  from  Arthur  CampbelFs  mill  to  Archibald  Buchanan's,  on  ^ 
the  North  Fork  of  Holston  river. 

In  the  preceding  pages  we  have  given  a  great  deal  of  the  records 
of  the  County  Court  of  Fincastle  county  directing  the  opening  of 
the  first  roads  and  granting  permission  to  erect  the  first  mills  on 
the  waters  of  the  Holston  and  Clinch  rivers,  and  it  cannot  be  other- 
wise than  interesting,  for,  previously  to  the  opening  of  these  roads, 
the  early  settlers  of  this  country,  as  a  general  rule,  were  compelled 
to  follow  the  Indian  and  buffalo  trails  made  before  their  advent. 

The  main  trail  down  the  Holston  and  through  Washington 
county  was,  from  the  very  earliest  time  of  which  we  have  any 
record,  called  the  Great  Eoad.  Before  the  erection  of  the  first  mills 
on  the  waters  of  the  Holston,  if  the  early  settlers  wished  to  have 
meal,  it  could  be  obtained  in  one  way  only,  and  that  by  cracking 
the  grains  of  corn  with  a  hammer  or  by  some  other  similar  method. 

The  first  deed  executed  to  any  of  the  settlers  on  the  Holston  was 
dated  January  5,  1773,  and  was  made  by  Edmund  Pendleton.  It 
conveyed  to  Benjamin  Logan  and  John  Sharp  676  acres  of  land 
situated  on  Beaver  creek,  alias  Shallow  creek,  and  was  the  same 
land  surveyed  by  John  Buchanan  for  Edmund  Pendleton  on  April 
■2,  1750. 

On  the  same  day  Edmund  Pendleton  conveyed  to  William 
Cocke  and  Eobert  Craig  950  acres  of  land  situated  on  Spring 
creek,  alias  Eenfro's  creek,  being  the  same  land  surveyed  by  John 
Buchanan,  deputy  surveyor  of  Augusta  county,  for  Edmund 
Pendleton  on  April  3,  1750,  and  described  in  the  survey  as  lying 
on  Eenfro's  creek.  This  survey  covered  a  considerable  part  of  the 
farms  now  owned  and  occupied  by  C.  L.  Clyce,  Jerry  Whitaker, 
Allen  Lester  and  H.  B.  Eoberts  on  Spring  creek. 

The  four  conveyances  above  described  are  older  by  more  than 
one  year  and  three  months  than  any  others  to  be  found  in  the  pres-- 

138  Southwest  Virginia,  17J^6-1786. 

ent  bounds  of  Washington  county,  the  next  oldest  conveyance 
bearing'  date  April  14,  1774. 

It  may  be  interesting  at  this  point  to  know  the  oath  required  of 
the  members  of  the  first  County  Court  administering  justice  among 
the  settlers  upon  the  Holston.     We  here  copy  the  oath  : 

"You  shall  swear  that  as  a  justice  of  the  peace  in  the  county 
of  Fincastlo  in  all  articles  in  the  commission  to  you  directed,  you 
shall  do  equal  right  to  the  ])oor  and  to  the  rich,  after  your  cunning, 
wit  and  power  according  to  law;  and  3^ou  shall  not  be  of  any 
counsel  of  any  quarrel  hanging  before  you,  and  the  issues,  fines  and 
amercements  that  shall  happen  to  be  made,  and  all  the  forfeitures 
which  shall  fall  before  you,  you  shall  cause  to  be  entered,  without 
any  concealment  or  embezzling;  you  shall  not  let  for  gift  or  other 
causes,  but  well  and  truly  you  shall  do  your  office  of  justice  of  the 
peace,  as  well  within  your  county  court  as  without;  and  you  shall 
not  take  any  gift,  fee  or  gratuity,  for  anything  to  be  done  by  vir- 
tue of  your  office,  and  you  shall  not  direct  or  cause  to  be  directed, 
any  warrant  by  you  to  be  made  to  the  parties,  but  you  shall  direct 
them  to  the  Sheriff,  or  bailiffs  of  said  county,  or  other  the  King's 
officers  or  ministers,  or  other  indifferent  persons,  to  do  execution 
thereof,  so  help  you  God." 

The  oath  of  a  justice  of  the  County  Court  in  Chancery  was  as 
follows : 

"You  shall  swear  that  well  and  truly  you  will  serve  our  sovereign 
lord,  the  King,  and  his  people,  in  the  office  of  a  justice  of  the  county 
court  of  Fincastle  in  ( 'hancery,  and  that  you  will  do  equal  right  to 
all  manner  of  people,  great  and  small,  high  and  low,  rich  and  poor, 
according  to  equity  and  good  conscience  and  the  laws  and  usages 
of  this  colony  and  dominion  of  Virginia,  without  favor,  affection 
or  partiality.     So  help  you  God."* 

A  considerable  number  of  people  had  settled  in  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  Abingdon,  and  eastward  to  the  head  waters  of  the  Hol- 
ston, and  in  the  beginning  of  this  year  two  congregations  of  Pres- 
byterians had  organized  in  the  county — one  at  Sinking  Spring 
(now  Abingdon)  and  another  at  Ebbing  Spring,  on  the  Middle 
Fork  of  the  Holston  river,  near  the  James  Byars  farm ;  and  in  the 
month  of  April,  1773,  Samuel  Edmiston  was  commissioned  by  the 
two  congregations  above  mentioned  to  present  a  call  to  the  Rev. 

*5  Hen.  Stat.,  pages  489-490. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  139 

Charles  Cummings  at  the  Eeverend  Presbytery  of  Hanover  when 
sitting  at  the  Tinkling  Springs,  in  Angusta  county.  This  call  was 
reduced  to  writing  and  signed  by  the  members  of  the  Sinking 
Spring  and  Ebbing  Spring  congregations.  It  was  presented  to 
the  Presbytery  by  Samuel  Edmiston  for  the  services  of  Mr.  Cum- 
mings at  Brown's  meeting-house,  in  Augusta  county,  on  June  3, 
1773.     The  call  with  the  signatures  thereto  is  as  follows: 

"A  call  from  the  united  congregations  of  Ebbing,  and  Sinking 
springs,  on  Holston's  river,  Fincastle  county,  to  be  presented  to  the 
Rev,  Charles  Cummings,  minister  of  the  gospel,  at  the  Eeverend 
Presbytery  of  Hanover  when  sitting  at  the  Tinkling  Spring: 

Worthy  and  Dear  Sir, — We,  being  in  very  destitute  circum- 
stances for  want  of  the  ordinances  of  Christ's  house  statedly  ad- 
ministered amongst  us ;  many  of  us  under  very  distressing  spiritual 
languishments ;  and  multitudes  perishing  in  our  sins  for  want  of 
the  bread  of  life  broken  among  us;  our  Sabbaths  too  much  pro- 
faned, or  at  least  wasted  in  melancholy  silence  at  home,  our  hearts 
and  hands  discouraged,  and  our  spirits  broken  with  our  mournful 
condition,  so  that  human  language  cannot  sufficiently  paint.  Hav- 
ing had  the  happiness,  by  the  good  providence  of  God,  of  enjoying 
part  of  your  labors  to  our  abundant  satisfaction,  and  being  uni- 
versally well  satisfied  by  our  experience  of  your  ministerial  abili- 
ties, piety,  literature,  prudence  and  peculiar  agreeableness  of  your 
qualifications  to  us  in  particular  as  a  gospel  minister — we  do, 
worthy  and  dear  sir,  from  our  very  hearts,  and  with  the  most  cor- 
dial affection  and  unanimity  agree  to  call,  invite  and  entreat  you  to 
undertake  the  office  of  a  pastor  among  us,  and  the  care  and  charge 
of  our  precious  souls,  and  upon  your  accepting  of  this  our  call,  we 
do  promise  that  we  will  receive  the  word  of  God  from  your  mouth, 
attend  on  your  ministry,  instruction  and  reproofs,  in  public  and 
private,  and  submit  to  the  discipline  which  Christ  has  appointed 
in  his  church,  administered  by  you  while  regulated  by  the  word  of 
God  and  agreeable  to  our  confession  of  faith  and  directory.  And 
that  you  may  give  yourself  wholly  up  to  the  important  work  of  the 
ministry,  we  hereby  promise  to  pay  you  annually  the  sum  of  ninety 
poimds  from  the  time  of  your  accepting  this  our  call ;  and  that  we 
shall  behave  ourselves  towards  you  with  all  that  dutiful  respect 
and  affection  that  becomes  a  people  towards  their  minister,  using 
all  means  within  our  power  to  render  your  life  comfortable  and 


SovtJL'west  Virginia,  17Ji6-17S6. 

liapp}''.  We  entreat  3'ou,  worthy  and  dear  sir,  to  have  compassion 
u])on  us  in  this  remote  part  of  the  world,  and  accept  this  our  call 
and  invitation  to  the  pastoral  charge  of  our  precious  and  immor- 
tal souls,  and  we  shall  hold  ourselves  bound  to  pray. 

(I^orge  Blackburn, 
Win.  Blackburn, 
John  Vance, 
John  Casey, 
Benjamin  Logan, 
l»(bert  Edmiston, 
Tliomas  Berry, 
IJobert  Trimble, 
AVm.  McGaughey, 
David  Dry  den, 
V.'m.  McNabb, 
\    .  •)hn  Davis, 
]  [albert  McClure, 
Arthur  Blackburn, 
"^    Tiathl.  Davis, 
Saml.  Evans, 
\Vm.  Kennedy,  "^ 

Andrew  McFerran, 
Saml.  Hendry, 
John  Patterson, 
-Tames  Gilmore, 
John  Lowry, 
Wm.  Christian, 
Andrew  Colville, 
Eobert  Craig, 
Joseph  Black, 
Jonathan   Douglass?, 
John  Cusick, 
Eobert  Gamble, 
,  Andrew  Martin, 
Augustus  Webb, 
Samuel  Briggs, 
Wesley  White, 
James  Dorchester, 
James  Fulkerson, 

John  Long, 
Eobert  Topp,  v 

John  Hunt, 
Thomas  Bailey, 
David  Getgood, 
Alex.  Breckenridge, 
George  Clark, 
James  Molden, 
William  Blanton, 
James  Craig,  "^ 

Thomas  Sharp, 
John  Berry, 
James  Montgomery, 
Samuel  Houston, 
Henry  Creswell, 
George  Adams, 
George  Buchanan, 
James  Dysart, 
William  Miller, 
Andrew  Deeper, 
David  Snodgrass, 
Danl.   McCormick, 
Francis  Kincannon, 
Jos.  Snodgrass, 
James  Thompson, 
Eobert  Denniston, 
William  Edmiston, 
Saml.  Edmiston, 
Andrew  Kincannon, 
John  Kelley, 
John  Eobinson, 
James  Kincannon, 
Margaret  Edmiston, 
John  Edmiston, 
John  Boyd, 

David  Carson, 
Samuel   Buchanan, 
William  Bates, 
William  McMillin, 
John  Kennedy, 
Eobert  Lamb, 
Thos.  Eafferty, 
Tliomas  Baker, 
John  Groce, 
Eobert   Buchanan, 
Chrisr.  Acklin, 
Joseph  Gamble, 
John  McNabb, 
Chris.  Funkhouser, 
John  Funkhouser,  Sr., 
John  Funkhouser,  Jr., 
Thomas  Evans, 
William  Marlor, 
Wm.  Edmiston, 
Thos  Edmiston, 
John  Beaty, 
David  Beaty, 
George  Teator, 
Michl.  Halfacre, 
Stephen  Cawood, 
James  Garvell, 
Eob.  Buchanan,  Jr., 
Edward  Jamison, 
ISTicholas  Brobston, 
Alexander  McNutt, 
William   Pruitt, 
John  McCutchen, 
James  Berry, 
James  Trimble, 
Eichard  Heggons, 

Southwest  'Virginia,  17JfG-17SG. 


Stephen  Jordan, 
Alex.  Laughlin, 
James  Inglish, 
Richard  Moore, 
Thomas  Ramsey, 
Samuel  Wilson, 
Joseph  Vance, 
William  Young, 
William  Davidson, 
James  Young, 
John  Sharp, 

Robert  Kirkham, 
Martin  Pruitt, 
Andrew  Miller, 
William  Berry, 
James   Piper, 
James    Harrold, 
Saral.  Newell, 
David  Wilson, 
David  Craig, 
William  Berry, 
V  Moses  Buchanan, 

John  Lester^ 

Hugh  Johnson, 
Edward  Pharis, 
Joseph  Lester, 
Saml.  White, 
William  Lester, 
William  Poage, 
Saml.  Buchanan, 
Thos.  Montgomery, 
Samuel  Bell, 
John  Campbell. 

Tliis  call  was  accepted  by  Mr.  Cummings,  but  no  record  is  pre- 
served of  any  installation  being  appointed  or  performed.  It  was 
intended  that  this  call  should  have  been  presented  at  a  session  of 
the  Presbytery  in  the  preceding  April,  but,  for  some  cause,  it  was 
delayed  until  the  following  June.  Having  accepted  this  call,  he 
removed  his  family  to  the  Holston,  and  settled  upon  three  hundred 
acres  of  land  on  the  head  waters  of  Wolf  Hill  creek,  which  he  pur- 
chased from  Dr.  Thomas  Walker  for  the  consideration  of  thirty- 
three  pounds,  and  which  land  was  conveyed  to  him  by  Dr.  Walker 
by  a  deed  dated  April  14,  1774. 

We  hope  our  readers  will  indulge  us  if  we  pause  at  this  place 
to  remark  that  every  acre  of  this  three-hundred-acre  tract  of  land 
is  to-day,  129  years  thereafter,  in  the  possession  of  the  direct  lineal 
descendants  of  the  Rev.  Charles  Cummings.     A  remarkable  fact. 

As  soon  as  he  had  settled  his  family  on  the  Holston,  he  set  about 
the  performance  of  the  duties  pertaining  to  his  station  with  all  the 
energy  and  intelligence  of  which  he  was  capable.  He  purchased 
from  Dr.  Thomas  Walker,  for  five  shillings,  by  estimation,  fifty- 
five  acres  of  land,  which  land  was  deeded  ])y  Dr.  Walker  "to  the 
minister  and  congregation  of  the  Sinking  Spring  Church  and 
their  successors  for  the  time  being  on  April  14,  1774.  This  tract 
of  laud  was  bounded  as  follows:  Beginning  at  a  red  oak  corner  to 
Andrew  Colvill,  running  thence  E.  10  poles  to  a  white  oak,  N. 
20',  E.  126  poles  to  a  hickory;  thence  N.  31',  W.  48  poles  to  a 
chestnut  on  a  high  ridge,  S.  53',  W.  96  poles  to  a  chestnut  and  a 
white  oak  on  the  side  of  said  ridge,  S.  35',  E.  46  poles  to  a  large 
white  oak,  S.  40',  W.  28  poles  to  a  black  oak  near  Sinking  Spring, 

142  SouUiwest   Virginia,  17J^6-1786. 

S.  30',  E.  48  poles  to  a  white  oak;  thence  E.  12  poles  to  the  be- 

A  considerable  part  of  noi-thwest  Abingdon  is  built  upon  this 
same  tract  of  land. 

The  first  meeting  house  of  the  Sinking  Spring  congregation  was 
erected  on  the  first  rise  in  the  present  cemetery  in  the  rear  of  the 
Martin  vault,  and  was  a  very  large  cabin  of  unhewn  logs.'  It  was 
from  80  to  100  feet  long  and  about  40  feet  wide,  and  had  a  very 
remarkable  appearance. 

Governor  David  Campbell,  in  speaking  of  the  men  who  signed 
this  call,  says:  "In  early  life  I  knew  personally  many  of  those 
whose  names  are  signed  to  it,  and  I  knew  nearly  all  of  them  from 

They  were  a  most  respectable  body  of  men,  were  all  Whigs  in  the 
revolution,  and  nearly  all,  probably  every  one  of  them,  performed 
military  service  against  the  Indians,  and  a  large  portion  of  them 
against  the  British  in  the  battles  of  King's  Mountain,  Guilford 
Courthouse,  and  other  actions  in  North  and  South  Carolina. 

Such  was  the  character  of  the  first  men  who  inhabited  our 
county  and  worshipped  in  this,  the  first  place  of  worship,  on  all  the 
waters  of  the  Holston  and  Clinch. 

Daniel  Boone  again  visited  the  waters  of  the  Holston  in  the 
fall  of  this  year.  The  Boones  and  five  other  families  set  out  from 
their  homes  on  the  Yadkin  river,  N".  C,  on  September  25,  1773. 
They  passed  through  Washington  county  and  on  into  Powell's 
Valley  (on  their  way  to  Kentucky),  where  they  were  joined  by 
William  Bryan,  with  forty  other  people.  While  this  body  of  emi- 
grants were  leisurely  traveling  through  Powell's  Valley  a  small 
company,  under  James  Boone,  Daniel  Boone's  eldest  son,  left  the 
main  body  and  went  to  the  home  of  William  Eussell  to  secure  pro- 
visions, and  on  the  9th  of  October  James  Boone  and  his  company, 
among  the  number  being  Eussell's  son  Henry  and  two  slaves,  en- 
camped a  few  miles  in  the  rear  of  the  main  body.  At  this  point 
they  Avere,  the  next  day,  waylaid  by  a  small  company  of  Shawnese 
and  Cherokee  Indians,  who  were  supposed  to  be  at  peace  with  the 
white  settlers.  On  the  morning  of  the  10th  James  Boone  and  his 
entire  company  were  captured,  and,  after  cruel  torture,  were  slaught- 
ered.    After  this  occurrence  Daniel  Boone's  company  of  emigrants 

*Deed  Book  "A,"  page  — ,  Fincastle  county. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  143 

broke  up  and  returned  to  the  settlements,  and  Daniel  Boone  and  his 
family  returned  to  the  home  of  William  Kussell,  near  Castle's 
Woods,  on  Clinch  river,  about  forty  miles  distant,  and  took  up  their 
residence  in  an  empty  cabin  on  the  farm  of  Captain  David  Glass, 
seven  or  eight  miles  from  William  Eussell's,  where  they  spent  the 
M'inter  of  1773-1774.  Daniel  Boone  had  twice,  previously  to  this 
time,  visited  the  Kentucky  wilderness,  and  had  decided  to  settle  in 
the  beautiful  country  which  he  had  visited.  And  thus  rudely  were 
his  first  efforts  frustrated. 

The  motive  actuating  the  Indians  in  making  this  assault  must 
have  been  jealousy  of  these,  the  first  emigrants  to  Kentucky.  They 
could  not  have  had  for  their  object  the  securing  of  plunder  alone, 
for  the  Indians  had  long  lived  in  peace  with  the  white  settlers 
without  any  effort  to  murder  or  burn.  In  this  assault  six  men, 
including  Boone's  son,  were  slain,  and  their  cattle  and  plunder 
secured  and  carried  oft'. 

We  have  now  reached  the  time  when  the  eyes  of  all  frontiersmen 
were  fixed  upon  the  fertile  lands  lying  beyond  the  Cumberland 
mountains.  The  Kentucky  wilderness  was  no  longer  visited  by 
the  hunter  alone,  but  the  explorer  and  the  settler  were  seeking  an 
opportunity  to  acquire  a  future  home  in  the  new  country. 

A  distinguished  author,  in  speaking  of  the  condition  of  the 
Indians  at  that  time,  says :  "Recently  they  had  been  seriously 
alarmed  by  the  tendency  of  the  whites  to  encroach  on  the  great 
hunting  grounds  south  of  the  Ohio,  for  here  and  there  hunters  and 
settlers  were  already  beginning  to  build  cabins  along  the  course  of 
that  stream,"  and  in  another  place  the  same  author  speaks  as  fol- 
lows :  "The  savages  grew  continually  more  hostile,  and  in  the  fall 
of  1773  their  attacks  became  so  frequent  that  it  was  evident  a 
general  outbreak  was  at  hand.  Eleven  people  were  murdered  in 
the  county  of  Fincastle  alone.  The  Shawnese  were  the  leaders  in 
all  these  outrages.  Thus  the  spring  of  1774  opened  with  every- 
thing ripe  for  an  explosion.  The  Virginia  borderers  were  fear- 
fully exasperated,  and  were  ready  to  take  vengeance  upon  any  In- 
dian, whether  peaceful  or  hostile,  while  the  Shawnese  and  Mingoes, 
on  their  side,  were  arrogant  and  overbearing,  and  yet  alarmed  at 
the  -continual  advance  of  the  whites."* 

The  Virginia   Colony  was  at  peace  with  the   Cherokees,   and 

*The  Winning  of  the  West,  Vol.  I.,  pages  250-252. 

144  SouUiivest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

most   of   the    Indians'    depredations    during    the   year    1774-1775 
were  comniitted  by  the  northwest  Indians. 

A  Mr.  Russell  and  five  of  his  companions  were  murdered  by  the 
Indians  in  the  fall  of  the  year  1773  in  Fincastle  county,  and  about 
the  same  time  two  men,  l)y  the  name  of  Cochran  and  Foley,  and 
a  man  by  the  name  of  Hayes,  with  his  three  companions,  were 
murdered  by  the  Indians,  but  as  to  the  locality  of  these  murders 
or  the  circumstances  attending  them  we  have  no  information.! 

In  the  course  of  the  summer  of  1774,  a  number  of  the  citizens 
of  Fincastle  county  were  captured  and  killed  by  the  northern  In- 
dians, among  the  number  being  Thomas  Hogg  and  two  men  near 
the  mouth  of  the  Great  Kanawha,  and  Walter  Kelly,  with  three  or 
four  other  persons,  below  the  falls  of  the  Great  Kanawha.  William 
Kelly  and  a  young  woman  were  captured  on  Muddy  creek,  a  branch 
of  Green  river.  Kelly  was  killed  and  the  young  woman  carried 
into  captivity.  During  this  same  summer  a  man  by  the  name  of 
Shockley,  a  scout  employed  by  the  County  Court  of  Fincastle 
county,  was  shot  and  killed,  and  on  the  7th  day  of  August,  1774, 
the  house  of  one  John  Lybrook,  situated  on  Sinking  creek  in  the_ 
present  county  of  Craig,  was  attacked  by  the  Indians.  Lybrook 
was  wounded  in  the  arm,  and  only  saved  his  life  by  hiding  in  a 
cave.  Three  of  his  children  (one  of  them  a  sucking  infant),  a 
young  woman,  a  daughter  of  one  Scott,  and  a  child  of  widow 
Snidow  were  killed.  All  the  children  were  scalped  but  one,  and 
were  mangled  in  a  most  crxiel  manner.  At  the  same  time  and  in 
the  same  community,  John  and  Jacob  Snidow  and  a  younger 
brother,  whose  name  is  not  known,  were  captured  and  made  pris- 
oners. Two  of  the  brothers  escaped  from  the  Indians  on  the  fol- 
lowing Wednesday,  but  tlic  other  was  carried  into  captivity  and 
remained  with  the  Indians  until  he  acquired  their  habits  and  be- 
came so  fond  of  their  manner  of  life  that  he  ever  afterwards  lived 
among  them.  At  the  same  time  a  Miss  Margaret  McKiusie  was 
captured  and  carried  into  captivity,  where  she  remained  for  eighteen 
years,  at  the  end  of  which  time  she  returned  to  New  river  and 
married  a  Mr.  Benjamin  Hall. 

The  white  settlers  near  Pittsburg  were  on  very  bad  terms  with 
the  northwest  Indians.  On  the  last  day  of  April,  1774,  a  small 
•company  of  Indians  left  the  camp  of  the  Indian  Chief  Logan,  at 

tWm.  Preston  Mss. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17-^6-1786.  145 

Yellow  creek,  and  crossed  the  river  to  visit  a  man  by  the  name  of 
Greathouse,  a  place  which  they  had  been  accustomed  to  visit  for 
tlie  purpose  of  buying  rum  from  the  whites.  The  Indians  were 
made  drunk  with  liquor,  and  while  in  this  condition  were  cruelly 
murdered  by  Greathouse  and  his  associates.  Nine  Indians  in  all 
were  murdered  at  this  time,  among  the  number  being  the  entire 
family  of  the  Indian  Chief  Logan.  Logan  had  always  been  the 
friend  of  the  white  man,  and  had  always  been  exceedingly  kind  and 
gentle  to  women  and  children,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  some 
of  his  relatives  had  been  killed  by  the  whites  some  years  before. 
Logan  was  a  skilled  marksman  and  a  mighty  hunter  of  com- 
manding dignity,  who  treated  all  men  with  a  grave  courtesy  and 
exacted  the  same  treatment  in  return.  He  was  greatly  liked  and 
respected  by  all  the  white  hunters  and  frontiersmen  whose  friend- 
ship and  respect  were  worth  having.  They  admired  him  for  his 
dexterity  and  prowess,  and  they  loved  him  for  his  straightforward 
honesty  and  his  nol)le  loyalty  to  his  friends.* 

This  last  stroke  was  more  than  Logan  could  stand.  He  at- 
tributed his  misfortune  to  Captain  Cresap,  and  he  began  at  once 
to  raid  the  settlements  with  small  bands  of  Indians.  This  raid 
was  upon  the  settlers  of  the  Holston  and  the  Clinch.  On  his  first 
expedition  he  took  thirteen  scalps,  six  of  the  number  being  chil- 
dren. He  was  pursued  and  overtaken  by  a  party  of  men  com- 
manded by  a  man  by  the  name  of  McClure,  but  he  ambushed  and 
defeated  them  on  McClure's  creek,  now  in  Dickenson  county,  and 
it  was  from  this  occurrence  that  the  creek  obtained  its  name. 
Again,  during  the  same  year,  he  visited  the  waters  of  Holston, 
within  twelve  miles  of  the  present  location  of  Bristol,  and  cap- 
tured and  murdered  many  families.  At  the  house  of  one  Eoberts, 
whose  family  was  cut  off,  Logan  left  a  war-club,  to  which  was  tied 
a  note,  which  read  as  follows : 

"Captain  Cresap, — ^What  did  you  kill  my  people  on  Yellow 
creek  for?  The  white  people  killed  my  kin  at  Conestoga  a  great 
while  ago,  and  1  thought  nothing  of  that.  But  you  killed  my  kin 
again  on  Yellow  creek,  and  took  my  cousin  prisoner.  Then  I 
thought  I  must  kill,  too,  and  I  have  been  three  times  to  war  since; 
but  the  Indians  are  not  angry,  only  myself. 

elulv  21, 1774.  "Captain  John  Logan." 

^Winning  of  the  West,  Vol.  I.,  page  256. 


Southwest  Virginia,  174G-1786. 

While  the  settlers  at  Pittsburg  provoked  this  diificulty,  it  seems 
that  the  settlers  on  the  Holston  and  Clinch  were  the  principal 
sufferers  thereby. 

Numerous  surveyors,  with  their  instruments,  visited  Kentucky 
during  this  year.  Among  the  number  were  James  Douglas,  Han- 
cock Taylor,  Isaac  Bledsoe,  and  John  Floyd.  The  last  named  left 
the  home  of  Colonel  William  Preston  at  Smithfield  on  April  9, 
1774,  accompanied  by  eight  men.  They  passed  down  the  Kanawha 
river  to  the  Ohio,  where  they  were  informed  by  a  company  they 
met  that  an  Indian  war  was  probable;  notwithstanding  which  in- 
formation they  continued  their  explorations,  surveying  many  tracts 
of  land  on  the  Ohio  and  in  the  present  State  of  Kentucky.  We  here 
give  a  list  of  a  few  surveys  made  by  the  men  who  visited  Kentucky  in 
this  year.  We  copy  this  list  from  the  fact  that  it  is  exceedingly 
interesting,  and  for  the  further  reason  that  it  contains  the  first  sur- 
veys made  by  the  white  man  in  the  present  State  of  Kentucky : 

Notable  Tmcit^  of  Land,  Surveyed  hy  John  Floyd,  Hancock  Taylor  and  James  Doug- 
las, in  1774-i77S,  lying  mostly  in  Kentucky 


April  25 














April  15, 

























Mitchell  Clay. 
Wni.  Inglis. 
Wm.  Inglis. 
Col.  Wm.  Cliristian. 
Jas.  McCorkle. 
Col.  Geo.  Washington 
John  Floyd. 
Patrick  Henry. 
Patrick  Henry. 
Wui.  Christian. 
Wm.  Russell.  •>* 
Wm.  Preston.  ^ 
Audley  Paul. 
Wm.  Christian. 
Wm.  Byrd. 

May    24, 1774  Wm.  Fleming. 

"      27, 1774  John  Corlin. 
June    2, 1774  Henry  Harrison. 
Mar.  23,  1774  Samuel  Scott. 
N-  Aug.     8, 1774]Andrew  Lewis. 

"       16,  1774  Evan  Shelby. 
May   31, 1774  Zachary  Taylor. 
June  17, 1774  Zachary  Taylor. 

"      29, 1774  Adam  Stephens. 

1, 1774  Jolin  Connallv. 

1, 1774  Wm.  Byrd. 

2, 1774  Thomas  Bower. 
14,  1775  James  McDowell. 
11, 1775  Samuel  McDowell. 


June  12, 1774  Wm.  Christian. 

"      24, 1775  Jethro  Sumner. 
"       3,  1774  Arthur  Campbell. 
May    12, 1774  Wm.  Christian 













Botii  sides  Bluestone  Cr.,  Clover  Bottom. 
H'd  Spring  Wolf  Cr.,  Burks  Garden. 
Abbs'  Valley. 
Bear  Grass  Creek,  Br.  of  Ohio. 

Bank  of  Cole  River. 

W.  Bear  Grass  Creek. 

Elk  Horn  Creek,  Br.  of  Kentucky. 

N.  Br.  Ky.  River,  95  miles  from  the  Ohio. 

S.  Br.  Kentucky  River. 

N.  Br.  of  Kentucky. 

S.  Side  Ohio,  3  miles  above  mouth  of  Ky. 

About  11  miles  below  mouth  of  Ky.,  called 

"  Mt.  Byrd." 
On  Ohio  River. 
On  Ohio,  19  miles  above  falls. 
On  Ohio,  23^  miles  from  h'd  of  fall. 
The  Narrows.  Giles  County. 
Sinking  Cr.,  8  miles  from  Ky.  River,  N, 

course  from  Harwood  Landing. 
Elk  Horn  Cr.,  Branch  of  Kentucky. 
On  Ohio,  Mouth  Bear  Grass  Creek. 
Br.  Kv.  that  empties  at  Gireat  Crossing. 
N.  si<lV  K y.  River  and  N.W.  side  Klk  Horn 

Creek  al)i)ut8  miles  I'min  a  remarkable 

l)arialo  feeding  place,  tlie  Ky.  River. 
S.  side  Ohio  River  opposite  the  falls. 
S.   side  ( ihio,   nearly  opposite  flrst  island 

above  the  falls. 
Near  falls  of  Ohio. 
S.  Fork  Licking  Cr.,  Br.  of  Ohio. 
Elk  Horn  Cr.,  Br.  of  Kentucky. 
Salt  River,  20  miles  from  Great  Falls  Inc'd 

Spring  and  Buffalo  Lick. 
Elk  Horn  Creek  (Sumner's  Forest). 
Br.  Bear  Grass  Cr.,  S.  Br.  Ohio. 
Big  Bone  Lick  and  Butt'alo  Lick. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  147 

This  is  a  partial  list  only  of  the  many  surveys  made  in  west 
Fincastle  county,  now  in  the  State  of  Kentucky,  by  Hancock  Tay- 
lor, James  Douglas,  and  John  Floyd. 

These  men  were  sent  to  Kentucky  by  direction  of  the  Governor 
of  the  Colony  of  Virginia,  and  all  the  lands  thus  located  were  for 
men  or  the  assignees  of  men  who  took  part  in  the  French-Indian 
war  of  1754-1763,  and  who  acquired  their  rights  under  the  King's 
proclamation  of  1763.  When  the  war  with  the  Indians  broke  out 
Lord  Dunmore  was  exceedingly  anxious  to  give  information  of  that 
fact  to  the  surveyors,  and  he  directed  Colonel  William  Preston, 
who  had  charge  of  the  defenses  of  Fincastle  county,  to  communi- 
cate the  fact  to  the  surveyors.  Colonel  Preston  authorized  Colo- 
nel William  Russell,  who  then  lived  on  the  Clinch  river,  to  employ 
two  faithful  woodmen  to  go  to  Kentucky  and  convey  the  infor- 
mation to  the  several  companies  of  surveyors  and  their  assistants, 
and  on  the  26th  of  June,  1774,  Captain  Russell  wrote  Colonel 
William  Preston  as  follows :  "I  have  engaged  to  start  immediately 
upon  the  occasion  two  of  the  best  hands  I  could  think  of,  Daniel 
Boone  and  Michael  Stoner,  who  have  engaged  to  reach  the  coun- 
try as  low  as  the  falls,  and  to  return  by  way  of  Gasper's  Lick,  on 
Cumberland,  and  through  Cumberland  Gap,  so  that  by  the  as- 
siduity of  these  men,  if  it  be  not  too  late,  I  hope  the  gentlemen 
will  be  apprized  of  the  imminent  danger  they  are  daily  in." 
Boone  and  Stoner  set  out  immediately  upon  their  trip,  and  warned 
Colonel  James  Harrod  and  thirty  men  at  Harrodsburg,  now  Ken- 
tucky. They  found  another  company  of  surveyors  at  Fontainebleau 
and  on  the  Kentucky  i-iver  they  found  Captalin  John  Floyd 
and  his  men,  and  thence  they  passed  to  the  falls  of  the  Ohio,  where 
they  warned  the  surveyors  at  Mann's  Lick,  and,  after  an  absence 
of  sixty-one  days,  they  reached  J^ussell's  Fort  on  Clinch  river, 
having  traveled  800  miles  on  foot.  Captain  John  Floyd  imme- 
diately set  out  for  the  settlements,  and  on  the  13th  day  of  August, 
1774,  he  reached  the  home  of  Colonel  Preston  at  Smithfield,  and 
reported :  "That  on  the  8th  of  July  he  and  three  others  parted  with 
fourteen  men,  who  were  also  engaged  in  the  surveying  business, 
and  went  about  twenty  miles  from  them  to  finish  his  part  of  the 
work,  and  that  they  were  to  meet  on  the  first  day  of  August  at  a 
place  on  the  Kentucky,  known  by  the  name  of  the  Cabin,  in  order 
to  proceed  on  their  homeward  journey.     That  on  the  24th  of  July 

148  Southivest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

he,  with  his  three  men,  repaired  to  tlie  place  appointed,  where  he 
found  that  a  part,  or  all  of  the  conipan}^,  had  assembled  according 
to  agreement,  but  had  gone  off  in  the  greatest  precipitation,  leav- 
ing him  only  this  notice  written  on  a  tree:  'Alarmed  by  finding 
some  people  killed,  we  arc  gone  down,'  upon  which  he,  with  his 
small  party,  iminodiatoly  set  out,  steering  for  our  settlements;  and 
after  an  extremely  painful  and  fatiguing  journey  of  sixteen  days 
through  mountains  almost  inaccessible  and  ways  unknown,  he  at 
last  arrived  on  Clinch  river.  He  did  not  well  understand  the 
notice  left  him  on  the  tree,  whether  part  of  the  company  had  as- 
sembled at  the  Cabin,  and  that  they  had  gone  down  to  the  camp  in 
order  to  warn  those  who  were  at  work  in  that  neighborhood  of 
danger,  or  whether  the  whole  company  had  met  and  were  departed 
down  the  Mississippi,  as  several  in  the  company  had  before  pro- 
posed returning  home  that  Avay,  with  a  view  both  to  see  the  coun- 
try and  avoid  the  fatigue  of  returning  by  land.  The  names  of 
some  of  the  party  not  then  returned  are  here  inserted,  viz. :  James 
Douglas,  Hancock  Ta5dor  and  Isaach  Bledsoe ;  Surveyors  John  Wil- 
lis, Willis  Lee,  Captain  John  Ashby,  Abraham  Hempenstall,  Wil-  ' 
liam  Ballard,  John  Green,  Lawrence  Darnell,  Mordecai  Batson, 
John  Sodusky,  James  Strother  and  John  Ball." 

The  northwestern  Indians  were  greatly  alarmed  at  the  encroach- 
ments of  the  white  settlers,  who  were  daily  surveying  and  settling 
the  lands  on  the  banks  of  the  Ohio  and  in  the  wilderness  of  Ken- 
tucky. The  white  settlers  insisted  that  they  had  a  right  to  survey 
and  settle  these  lands  under  the>])]'ovisinus  of  tlie  treaty  made  with 
the  confederacy  of  the  Six  Nations  at  Fort  Stanwix  in  17G8,  and 
they  were  greatly  exasperated  by  the  conduct  of  the  northwestern 
Indians  in  denying  their  right  to  said  lands  and  in  murdering 
their  people  and  plundering  their  settlements.  The  white  settlers 
had  long  been  restrained  by  the  British  Government  from  aveng- 
ing their  wrongs  on  the  Indians,  and  now  they  clamored  for  war. 
When  the  news  of  the  disposition  of  the  Indians  reached  Williams- 
burg the  Governor  of  the  Colony  and  the  House  of  Burgesses  of 
Virginia  immediately  took  steps  to  protect  the  western  settlers. 

By  the  direction  of  Lord  Dunmore,  Lieutenant-Colonel  William 
Christian,  in  the  month  of  May,  1774,  left  Williamsburg  for  Fin- 
castle  county  with  instructions  to  use  every  means  possible  to  pre- 

Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1780.  149 

vent  the  inhabitants  from  leaving  tlie  settlements  on  the  approach 
of  the  Indian  war. 

As  soon  as  he  reached  his  home  a  council  of  the  militia  officers 
was  held  on  June  35,  1774,  at  the  Lead  Mines,  at  which  council  it 
was  resolved  that  Lieutenant-Colonel  Christian  should  march  with 
a  body  of  militia  to  the  Clinch  settlements.  The  militia  Avas  at ! 
once  mustered  in  and  equipped  at  the  personal  expense  of  Colonel  j 
Christian,  JVilliam  Preston  and  Major  Arthur  Campbell,  and  pro- 
ceeded to  the  Clinch  settlements,  where  every  preparation  was ' 
made  for  war.  A  considerable  part  of  this  force  accompanied 
Colonel  Christian  to  Point  Pleasant  in  the  following  August.  Gen- 
eral Andrew  Lewis  was  directed  by  Governor  Dunmore  to  organize 
a  sufficient  force  to  carry  war  into  the  enemy's  country.  The  organi- 
zation of  this  body  of  troops  was  intrusted  to  General  Andrew 
Lewis  and  Colonel  Charles  Lewis,  of  Augusta  county.  As  it  would 
require  some  time  to  organize  this  body  of  troops,  it  was  thought 
proper  to  send  an  advance  guard  into  the  enemy's  country  to  re- 
strain the  Indians  wjiile  the  whites  were  preparing,  and  early  in 
June  about  400  men,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Angus  Mc- 
Donald, assembled  at  Wheeling  and  immediately  marched  to  the 
Indian  grounds,  on  the  Muskingum,  with  the  loss  of  two  men  killed 
and  eight  or  ten  wounded.  The  Indians  fled,  and  in  a  few  days 
returned  and  sued  for  peace,  but  their  pretensions  were  not  sin- 
cere; and  they  were  only  delaying  McDonald  while  they  removed 
their  property  and  their  women  and  children  beyond  the  reach  of 
the  Virginia  troops.  Thereupon  Colonel  McDonald  burned  the  In- 
dian towns  and  crops  and  retraced  his  steps  to  Wheeling.  As  soon 
as  the  troops  had  retired  from  the  Indian  country  small  bands  of 
Indians  invaded  the  western  settlements  at  many  points. 

Many  of  the  people  of  Fincastle  county  were  murdered,  and  by 
the  first  of  August  all  the  people  in  Pincastle  county,  except  a  few 
of  the  settlers  on  Holston,  were  gatliered  into  small  forts-;  and 
such  was  the  unhappy  situation  of  the  people  that  they  could  not 
attend  to  their  plantations,  nor  were  the  scouts  employed  by  the 
county  able  to  investigate  the  inroads  of  the  enemy,  as  they  came 
in  small  parties  and  traveled  along  the  mountains  with  great  cau- 
tion. About  the  last  of  June  one  Knox,  who  went  to  Ohio  with  the 
surveyors  in  the  spring,  reached  the  settlements  and  reported : 
"That  on  the  13th  of  June  one  Jacob  Lewis  departed  from  the 

150  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

camp  on  Salt  river  in  the  morning  to  hunt,  and  had  never  been 
heard  of  since;  that  on  the  8th  of  July,  being  at  said  camp,  about 
one  hundred  miles  from  the  Ohio  and  nearly  opposite  to  the  falls, 
he,  with  nine  otliei-s,  was  surprised  and  fired  upon  by  a  party  of 
about  twenty  Indians;  that  two  men  were  killed  on  the  spot,  viz.: 
James  Hamilton,  from  Fredericksburg,  and  James  Cowan,  from 
Pennsylvania,  and  as  the  enemy  rushed  upon  them  before  it  was 
possible  to  put  themselves  in  any  posture  of  defence,  they  were 
obliged  to  abandon  their  camp  and  make  their  escape  to  a  party  of 
thirty-five  men  who  were  in  that  neighborhood.  Next  day,  the 
whole  company,  being  forty-three  in  number,  after  burying  the 
dead,  set  out  for  the  settlement  on  Clinch  river,  wliere  they  arrived 
on  the  29th,  after  making  several  discoveries  of  the  enemy  on  the 

General  Andrew  Lewis  had  orders  to  raise  four  companies  of 
militia  from  Fincastle  and  Botetourt  counties,  to  rendezvous  at 
Camp  Union,  and  to  march  thence  down  the  Kanawha  to  Fort  Pitt, 
at  the  junction  of  the  Kanawha  and  Ohio.  Three  companies  of 
men  were  raised  in  Fincastle  county  and  were  commanded  by: 
Captain  Evan  Shelby,  the  forces  from  the  waters  of  the  Holston, 
Captain  Wm.  Eussell,  the  forces  from  the  waters  of  the  Clinch, 
Captain  Wm.  Herbert,  the  forces  from  the  waters  of  New  river. 

Captain  Eussell  left  EusselFs  Fort  on  Clinch  river  previously 
to  August  13th,  1774,  and  Captain  Evan  Shelby  began  the  march 
with  his  forces  on  the  17th  of  August,  1774,  both  companies  join- 
ing the  regiment  of  Colonel  Cliristian  on  New  river;  from  which 
place  Colonel  Christian,  with  his  regiment,  proceeded  to  Camp 
Union.  On  the  11th  day  of  September,  1774,  the  army  of  Gen. 
Lewis  began  the  march  down  the  Kanawha,  and,  after  the  expira- 
tion of  twenty-five  days,  they  arrived  at  Point  Pleasant  and  camped 
upon  the  banks  of  the  Ohio.  When  the  army  of  General  Lewis  left 
Camp  Union,  Colonel  Wm.  Christian,  with  four  hundred  inen,  was 
directed  to  remain  and  guard  the  provisions  until  the  return  of  a 
company  of  horse  that  had  been  sent  to  the  mouth  of  Elk,  when  he 
was  to  hurry  things  forward.  But  the  companies  of  Captains 
Eussell  and  Shelby  accompanied  the  army  of  General  Lewis  upon 
its  march  from  Camp  Union  to  Point  Pleasant  and  w^ere  attached 
to  the  command  of  Colonel  Charles  Lewis,  of  Augusta  county. 

At  the  same  time,  Lord  Dunmore  raised  a  considerable  force  in 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  151 

the  lower  Valley  and  was  to  march  to  Fort  Pitt,  and  thence  to 
Point  Pleasant,  where  he  was  to  meet  General  Lewis.  Instead  of 
doing  so,  he  marched  into  Ohio.  General  Lewis,  upon  his  arrival  at 
Point  Pleasant,  waited  several  days,  expecting  the  arrival  of  Lord 
Dunmore,  and,  not  hearing  from  him,  he  dispatched  messengers, 
but  whether  he  received  a  reply  before  the  battle  is  a  matter  of  dis- 
pute. On  Sunday,  the  9th  day  of  October,  the  sturdy  Scotch-Irish 
Presbyterians  from  Pincastle  county  spent  the  day  in  religious 
exercises,  little  dreaming  that  on  the  coming  day  they  would  be  sur- 
prised by  the  Indians  and  win  the  most  hotly  contested  battle  with 
the  Indians  recorded  in  the  annals  of  our  history. 


Early  Monday  morning,  October  10th,  James  Mooney  and  James 
Hughey,  of  Captain  Eussell's  company,  left  the  camp  in  quest  of 
deer.  When  about  three  miles  distant  from  their  camp,  they  unex- 
pectedly came  in  sight  of  a  large  body  of  Indians,  in  their  en- 
campment. The  Indians,  when  they  discovered  the  two  men,  fired 
upon  them,  and  Hughey  was  killed  by  a  white  renegade  by  the  name 
of  Travenor  Eoss.  Mooney  made  his  escape,  and,  returning  to  the 
camp,  reported  that  he  had  seen  a  body  of  the  enemy  covering  four 
acres  of  ground,  as  closely  as  they  could  stand  by  the  side  of  each 

About  the  same  time,  two  members  of  Captain  Shelby's  company, 
James  Eobertson  and  Valentine  Sevier,  who  had  been  out  hunting, 
returned  to  camp  and  reported  that  they  had  met  a  body  of  hostile 
Indians  advancing  upon  the  camp,  and  that  they  had  fired  upon 
them  at  the  distance  of  ten  steps.  It  being  dark,  the  Indians  were 
thereby  halted.  As  no  official  report  of  this  battle  has  been  pre- 
served, I  will  here  give  the  report  as  obtained  by  Dr.  Hale  from  a 
letter  published  in  the  Belfast  (Ireland)  News  Letter,  a  paper 
published  at  that  time. 


Yesterday  arrived  a  mail  from  New  York  brought  to  Falmouth 
by  the  Harriot  packet  boat,  Captain  Lee. 

Williamsburg,  Va.,  November  10th. 

The  following  letter  is  just  received  from  the  camp  on  Point 
Pleasant,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Great  Kenhawa  (as  then  spelled), 
dated  October  17,  1774: 

"The  following  is  a  true  statement  of  a  battle  fought  at  this 

152  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

place  on  the  10th  instant:  On  Monday  morning  about  half  an 
hour  before  sunrise,  two  of  Captain  Eussell's  company  discovered  a 
large  party  of  Indians  about  a  mile  from  the  camp,  one  of  which 
men  was  shot  by  the  Indians;  the  other  made  his  escape  and 
brought  in  the  intelligence.  In  two  or  three  minutes  after,  two  of 
Captain    Shelby's    men    came    in    and    confirmed    the    account. 

"Colonel  Andrew  Lewis,  being  informed  thereof,  immediately 
ordered  out  Colonel  Charles  Lewis,  to  take  command  of  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  of  the  Augusta  troops,  and  with  him  went  Captain 
Dickinson,  Captain  Harrison,  Captain  Wilson,  Captain  John 
Lewis,  of  Augusta,  and  Captain  Lockridge,  which  made  the  first 
division.  Colonel  Fleming  was  then  ordered  to  take  comn^and  of 
one  hundred  and  fifty  men  of  the  Botetourt,  Bedford,  and  Fin- 
castle  troops,  viz.,  Captain  Thomas  Buford,  from  Bedford;  Captain 
Love,  of  Botetourt;  Captain  Shelby  and  Captain  Eussell,  of  Fin- 
castle,  which  made  the  second  division. 

"Colonel  Charles  Lewis's  division  marched  to  the  right  some 
distance  from  the  Ohio,  and  Colonel  Fleming  with  his  division,  on 
the  bank  of  the  Ohio  to  the  left. 

"Colonel  Charles  Lewis's  division  had  not  marched  quite  half 
a  mile  from  the  camp  when,  about  sunrise,  an  attack  wac  made  on 
the  front  of  his  division,  in  a  most  vigorous  manner,  by  the  united 
tribes  of  Indians,  Shawnese,  Delawares,  Mingoes,  Tawas,  and  of 
several  other  nations — in  number  not  less  than  eight  himdrcd,  and 
by  many  thought  to  be  one  thousand. 

"In  this  heavy  attack.  Colonel  Charles  Lewis  received  a  wound, 
which,  in  a  few  hours  caused  his  death,  and  several  of  his  men  fell 
on  the  spot;  in  fact,  the  Augusta  division  was  obliged  to  give  way 
to  the  heavy  fire  of  the  enemy.  In  about  a  second  of  a  minute  after 
the  attack  on  Colonel  Lewis's  division,  the  enemy  engaged  the  front 
of  Colonel  Fleming's  division  on  the  Ohio,  and  in  a  short  time  the 
Colonel  received  two  balls  through  his  left  arm  and  one  through  liis 
breast,  and,  after  animating  the  officers  and  soldiers,  in  a  most  f  fdm 
manner,  to  the  pursuit  of  victory,  retired  to  the  camp. 

"The  loss  in  the  field  was  sensibly  felt  by  the  officer-  in  par- 
ticular; but  the  Augusta  troops  being  shortly  after  reinforced  from 
the  camp  by  Colonel  Field,  with  his  company,  together  with  Cap- 
tain McDowell,  Captain  Matthews,  and  Captain  Stewart,  from 
Augusta ;  Captain  Paulin,  Captain  Arbuckle  and  Captain  McClana- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  153 

h.m,  from  Botetourt,  the  enemy  no  longer  able  to  maintain  ihbiv 
girimd,  were  forced  to  give  way  till  they  were  in  a  line  Avith  the 
troops.  Colonel  Fleming  being  left  in  the  action  on  the  Ohio. 

"In  this  precipitate  retreat  Colonel  Fleming  was  killed.  During 
this  time,  which  was  till  after  twelve,  the  action  in  a  siT'.all  degree 
elated,  but  continued,  except  at  short  intervals,  sharp  enoacji  till 
after  one  o'clock.  Their  long  retreat  gave  them  a  most  ad\'anta- 
geous  spot  of  ground,  from  which  it  appeared  to  the  otticer^  so  diffi- 
cult to  dislodge  them  that  it  was  thought  most  advisahlo  to  stand 
as  the  line  was  then  formed,  which  was  about  a  mile  and  ^  <|ii.arter 
in  length,  and  had  sustained  till  then  a  constant  and  equal  v.-eight  of 
the  action,  from  wing  to  wing. 

"It  was  till  alwiit  half  an  hour  of  sunset  they  continued  firing  on 
us  scattered  shots,  which  we  returned  to  their  disadvan'cago.  At 
length  the  night  coming  on  they  found  a  safe  retreat. 

•''Phey  had  not  the  satisfaction  of  carrying  off  any  of  our  men's 
scalps,  save  those  of  one  or  two  stragglers  they  killed  before  the 
engagement.  Many  of  their  dead  they  scalped,  rather  than  we 
should  have  them,  but  our  troops  scalped  upwards  of  twenty  of 
their  men  that  were  first  killed. 

"It  is  beyond  doubt  their  loss,  in  number,  far  excecided  ours, 
'.vhich  is  considerable. 

"The  return  of  the  killed  and  wounded  in  the  above  battle,  same 
as  our  last,  is  as  follows: 

"Killed — Colonels  Charles  Lewis  and  John  Fields,  Captains 
John  Murray,  E.  McClanahan,  Samuel  Wilson,  James  Ward,  Lieu- 
tenant Hugh  Allen,  Ensigns  Cantiff  and  Bracken,  and  forty-four 
privates.    Total  killed,  fifty-three. 

"Wounded — Colonel  William  Fleming,  Captains  John  Dickinson, 
Thomas  Buford,  and  I.  Skidman,  Lieutenants  Goldman,  Eobinson, 
Lard  and  Vance,  and  seventy-nine  privates.  Total  wounded,  eighty- 
seven;  killed  and  wounded,  one  hundred  and  forty." 

When  Colonel  Charles  Lewis  fell,  Captain  Evan  Shelby  succeed- 
ed to  the  command  of  the  regiment,  and  ^saac  Shelby,  his  son, 
succeeded  to  the  command  of  his  father's  company,  and  late  in  the 
evening  General  Lewis  directed  Captains  Isaac  Shelby,  Matthews, 
and  Stewart  to  assail  the  Indians  in  the  rear,  by  advancing  up  the 
Kanawha  river,  protected  by  the  bank  and  undergrowi:h.  In  the 
execution  of  this  order  considerable  difficulty  was  experienced,  and 

154  Southwest  Virginia,  174-6-1786. 

possibly,  failure  would  have  been  the  result  had  it  not  been  for 
the  request  of  John  Sawyers  an  Orderly  Sergeant  in  Captain 
Shelby's  company,  for  permission  to  take  a  few  men  of  the  com- 
pany and  drive  the  Indians  from  the  position  which  afforded  them 
protection.  Permission  was  granted  and  the  Indians  were  dislodged. 
The  companies  above  mentioned  having  gained  their  rear,  the  In- 
dians precipitately  took  their  flight  across  the  Ohio. 

It  is  generally  admitted  that  this  was  one  of  the  most  hotly  (on- 
tested  battles  between  the  white  men  and  the  Indians  that  took 
place  in  the  history  of  the  early  settlement  of  our  country.  The 
terrible  conflict  that  took  place  between  the  white  men  and  the 
Indians  in  this  battle  is  hard  to  depict  in  ordinary  language.  De 
Hass  thus  describes  the  conflict : 

"The  battle  scene  was  terribly  grand.  There  stood  the  com- 
batants, terror,  rage,  disappointment,  and  despair  riveted  upon  the 
faces  of  one,  while  calm  resolution  and  the  unbending  will  to  do  or 
die  were  marked  upon  the  other.  Neither  party  would  retreat, 
neither  could  advance.  The  noise  of  the  firing  was  tremendous.  ISTo 
single  gun  could  be  distinguished,  it  was  one  continuous  roar. 

"The  rifle  and  the  tomahawk  now  did  their  work  with  dreadful 
certainty.  The  confusion  and  perturbation  of  the  camp  had  now 
arrived  at  its  greatest  height.  The  confused  sounds  and  wild  up- 
roar of  the  battle  added  greatly  to  the  terror  of  the  scene.  The 
shouting  of  the  whites,  the  continued  roar  of  fire-arms,  the  war- 
whoop  and  dismal  yelling  of  the  Indians,  were  discordant  and  ter- 

Colonel  Christian,  whom  General  Ivewis  had  left  at  Camp  Union, 
as  soon  as  he  had  complied  with  the. orders  of  General  Lewis,  set 
out  for  Point  Pleasant,  with  all  the  troops  under  his  command 
except  one  company  of  Fincastle  men,  whom  he  left  under  the 
command  of  Anthony  Bledsoe  at  Camp  Union  to  guard  the  sup- 
plies and  take  care  of  the  sick.  He  marched  his  troops  with  all 
possible  expedition,  and  arrived  at  Point  Pleasant  on  the  evening 
of  October  10th,  after  the  battle  had  been  fought.  Soon  thereafter. 
Lord  Dunmore  negotiated  a  treaty  of  peace  with  the  Indians  at  one 
of  their  towns  in  Ohio,  by  which  the  northwest  Indians  ceded  all 
their  claims  to  the  lands  lying  south  of  the  Ohio  river,  to  the  King 
of  England. 

General  Lewis  marched  his  army  back  to  Camp  Union  where  it 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  155 

was  disbanded.  The  body  of  militia  that  went  from  Fincastle  upon 
this  expedition  were  armed  with  rifle  guns,  and,  being  good  woods- 
men, were  looked  upon  to  be  at  least  equal  to  any  troops  for  the 
number  that  had  been  raised,  in  America.  It  is  sufficient  to  know 
that  the  credit  of  having  been  the  first  to  discover  the  approach 
of  the  Indians,  and  thereby,  possibly,  to  secure  the  preservation  of 
General  Lewis's  army,  was  due  to  the  vigilance  of  the  backwoods- 
men from  Fincastle.  And  in  addition  to  that,  it  should  be  a  mat- 
ter of  pride  to  every  citizen  of  this  section  of  Virginia  to  know  that 
the  troops  from  the  waters  of  the  Clinch  and  the  Holston  were 
among  the  number  to  receive  the  first  assault  of  the  enemy,  and  to 
their  skill  and  bravery  may  be  accredited,  the  successful  flanking, 
and  consequently  the  precipitate  rout,  of  the  Indian  army.  The 
killed  and  wounded  among  the  Fincastle  troops  were  considerable. 
The  names  of  a  few  of  the  killed  and  wounded  are  given  below : 

Eobert  Campbell,  private,  afterwards  granted  a  pension  of  10 
pounds  per  year. 

James  Hughey,  killed. 
James  Eobinson,  wounded. 
Mark  Williams,  private,  killed. 
John  Carmack,  private,  wounded. 
John  Steward,  wounded. 
John  McKenney,  wounded,  three  times. 
Lieutenant  Vance,  wounded. 

The  following  is  a  partial  list  of  the  men  who  accompanied  Cap- 
tain Evan  Shelby  on  this  expedition : 

Isaac  Shelby,  Captain.  Eobert  Handley, 

James  Eobertson,  0.  S.  William  Casey, 

James  Shelby,  John  Stewart,  wounded; 

Henry  Span,  Eichard  Burke, 

Frederick  Mongle,  Elijah  Eobertson, 

John  Carmack,  Eichard  Holliway, 

George  Brooks,  Julius  Eobison, 

Abram  Newland,  Benjamin  Graham, 

Emanuel  Shoatt,  Hugh  O'Gullion, 

Peter  Forney,  James  Hughey, 

John  Fain,  .  Basileel  Maxwell, 

Samuel  Fain,  Valentine  Sevier,  0.  S., 

Samuel  Samples,  John  Sawyers,  0.  S., 


Southwest  Virginia,  171,6-1786. 

Jolm  Find  ley, 
Daniel  Mongle, 
John  Williams, 
Andrew  Torrenee, 
Isaac  Newland, 
George  Eiddle, 
Abram  Boga^-d, 
William  Tucker, 
Samuel  Vance, 
^  Samuel  Hand  ley, 
Arthur  Blackburn, 

George  Armstrong, 
Mack   Williams, 
Conrad  Nave, 
John  Riley, 
Rees  Price, 
Jarrett  Williams, 
Charles  Fielder, 
Andrew  Goff, 
Patrick  St.  Lawrence, 
John  Bradley, 
Barnett  O'Guillion. 

Captain  Wm.  Russell's  company: 
James  Mooney,  Joseph  Hughey. 



Daniel  Smith, 
Rohert  Campbell, 
Andrew  Waggoner, 
Jolm  Gilmore, 
John  Lyle, 
Francis  Berry, 
James  Robinson, 


AVilliam  Tate, 
George  Findley, 
Rees  Bowen. 

Walter  Steward,  Adjt. 

Fincastle  troops. 
William-  Campbell,  Captain. 
William  McFarland, 
John  McKenney, 
John  Moore, 
Conrad    Smith, 
John  Floyd, 
John  Steward, 
John  Campbell,  Lieutenant; 
"Moses  Bowen,  died  with 
small-pox  on  expedition ; 

Daniel  Boone,  upon  his  return  fi'om  Kentucky  to  Russell's  Fort, 
on  the  13th  day  of  August,  found  Captain  William  Russell  absent 
on  the  Point  Pleasant  expedition,  and  he  immediately  set  out  with 
a  body  of  troops  to  reinforce  him,  but  was  ordered  back  to  protect 
the  settlers  on  the  Clinch,  where  he  remained  for  some  time. 

The  forts  on  Clinch  river,  at  this  time,  with  the  number  of  men 
in  each  and  the  officers  in  command,  were  as  follows : 

Fort  Blackmore,  sixteen  men,  "Sergeant  Moore  commanding. 
Fort  Moore,  (twenty  miles  east),  twenty  men,  Lieutenant  Daniel 
Boone  commanding.     Fort  Russell  (four  miles  east),  twenty  men, 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  157 

Sergeant  W.  Poa^  eonimancling.  Fort  Glade  Hollow,  (twelve  miles 
east),  fifteen  vaeA,  Sergeant  John  Duncan  commanding.  Elk  Gar- 
den* (fourteen  miles  east),  fifteen  men,  Sergeant  John  Kinkead 
commanding.  Maiden  Spring,  (twenty-three  miles  east),  five  men, 
Sergeant  John  Crow  commanding.  Whitlow's  Crab  Orchard,  three 
men.  Ensign  John  Campbell  commanding. 

Boone  was  very  diligent  in  protecting  the  settlements  and  was 
commissioned  Captain  for  his  valued  services. 

As  soon  as  the  Indians  ascertained  that  so  many  of  the  citizens 
from  the  waters  of  the  Clinch  were  absent  on  the  expedition  to 
Point  Pleasant,  they  began  a  series  of  very  alarming  raids.  On  the 
8th  of  September,  1774,  they  visited  the  home  of  John  Henry,  on 
the  Clinch  river,  now  in  Tazewell  county,  Virginia,  in  Thompson's 
Yalley,  he,  having  on  the  15th  day  of  May  of  the  same  year,  settled 
upon  a  tract  of  land  that  Daniel  Smith,  Deputy  Surveyor  of  Fin- 
castle  county,  had  surveyed  for  him.  Henry  received  a  dangerous 
wound  from  which  he  died,  his  wife  and  three  children  were  taken 
prisoners,  and  on  the  same  day  a  man  was  taken  prisoner  by  an- 
other party  of  Indians  on  the  Hplston  river.  On  the  13th  day  of 
September,  1774,  a  soldier  was  fired  upon  by  three  Indians  on  the 
Clinch  river,  but  was  not  hurt.  He  returned  the  fire  and,  it  is  be- 
lieved, killed  an  Indian.  This  company  of  Indians  were  pursued 
for  several  days,  by  Captain  Daniel  Smith  and  a  company  of  militia, 
but  they  could  not  be  overtaken.  On  tlie  23d,  two  negroes  were 
taken  prisoners  at  Blackmore's  Fort,  on  waters  of  Clinch  river,  and 
a  great  many  horses  and  cattle  were  shot  down.  On  the  24th  day 
of  the  same  month,  an  entire  family  were  taken  and  killed,  at  Reedy 
Creek,  a  branch  of  the  Holston  river,  near  the  Cherokee  line.  On 
Sunday  morning,  the  25tli,  hallooing  and  the  report  of  many  guns 
were  heard.  These  last  murders  were  believed  to  be  the  work  of  the 
Cherokees,  who  appeared  at  that  time  in  very  bad  humor. 

The  victory  gained  at  Point  Pleasant  on  the  10th  of  October  put 
a  stop  to  all  organized  raids  upon  the  frontier  settlements,  for  the 
time  being.  Upon  the  return  of  the  Fincastle  troops  from  the  expe- 
dition to  Point  Pleasant,  the  free-holders  of  Fincastle  county  as- 
sembled at  the  Lead  Mines  and  drafted  an  address  to  the  Hon. 
John,  Earl  of  Dunmore,  thanking  him  heartily  for  his  exertions  in 

*Aboiit  six  miles  east  of  Lebanou  on  North  Fork  of  Cedar  Creek,  on  land  of 
the  Stuart  Land  &  Cattle  Company. 


158  Southwest  Virgima,  1746-1786. 

their  behalf  in  the  late  war,  and  expressed  the  wish  that  the  late 
disturbances  might  be  amicably  settled. 

On  the  14th  day  of  April,  1774,  Dr.  Thomas  Walker  conveyed  to 
James  Piper  365  acres  of  land  on  a  branch  of  the  Holston  river 
.called  Wolf  Hill  Creek ;  on  tJie  same  day,  he  conveyed  to  Alexander 
Breckenridge  360  acres  on  Wolf  Hill  Creek,  to  Samuel  Briggs  313 
acres  on  Wolf  Hill  Creek,  alias  Castle's  Creek,  to  Joseph  Black,  305 
acres  on  Eighteen  Mile  Creek  (this  being  the  name  of  the  small 
=*-.cre.ek  that  flows  through  Abingdon)  and  to  Andrew  Colvill,  334 
acres  on  Wolf  Hill  Creek.  The  persons  above  named  were  the  first 
v  settlers  in  the  vicinity  of  Abingdon. 

In  the  spring  of  the  year  1774,  the  free-holders  of  Fincastle 
county  met  at  the  Lead  Mines,  their  courthouse,  and  elected  two 
members  of  the  Virginia  House  of  Burgesses  to  represent  Fincastle 
county,  viz. : 

William  Christian,  Stephen  Trigg. 

It  may  not  be  amiss  at  this  point  to  state  briefly  the  laws  gO'V- 
erning  the  qualifications  required  of  the  citizens  of  Fincastle  coun- 
ty to  vote  and  hold  office,  in  this,  the  last  year  that  the  Colony 
of  Virginia  adhered  to  the  crown  of  England.  The  freeholders  of 
every  county  possessed  the  liberty  of  electing  two  of  the  most  able 
and  fit  men,  being  freeholders  and  qualified  to  vote,  to  represent 
their  county  in  all  the  General  Assemblies.  The  electors  or  voters 
were  required  to  own  an  estate  of  freehold  for  his  own  life  or  the 
life  of  another,  or  other  greater  estate  in  at  least  fifty  acres  of  land, 
if  no  settlement  be  made  upon  it,  or  twenty-five  acres  with  a  planta- 
tion and  house  thereon  at  least  twelve  feet  square,  said  property  be- 
ing in  the  county  in  which  the  electors  offered  to  vote.  The  sheriff 
was  required  to  deliver  to  the  minister  and  reader  of  every  parish  in 
his  county  a  copy  of  the  writ  of  election,  and,  upon  the  back  of 
every  such  writ,  he  was  required  to  endorse  the  fact  that  said  elec- 
tion would  be  held  at  the  courthouse  in  his  county  upon  a  day 
appointed  by  him.  And  the  minister  or  reader  was  required  to 
publish  the  same  immediately  after  divine  services,  every  Sunday 
between  the  receipt  of  said  writ  and  the  day  of  election,  under 
heavy  penalty  for  failure  to  do  so.  It  was  further  provided 
that  every  freeholder  actually  residing  in  the  county  should  per- 
sonally appear  at  the  courthouse  on  the  day  fixed  and  give  his  vote, 
upon  the  penalty  of  forfeiting  two  hundred  pounds  of  tobacco,  if  he 

Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  159 

failed  to  vote.  The  sheriff  was  required  to  appoint  fit  persons,  and 
these  persons  after  being  duly  sworn,  were  required  to  enter  the 
names  of  every  candidate  in  a  distinct  column,  and  the  name  of 
every  freeholder  giving  his  vote,  under  the  name  of  the  person 
voted  for,  all  of  which  was  required  to  be  done  in  the  presence  of 
the  candidates  or  their  agents,  and  upon  the  close  of  the  polls  the 
sheriff  was  ordered  to  proclaim  the  names  of  the  successful  candi- 
dates. And  it  was  further  provided,  that  any  person  who  should 
directly  or  indirectly,  except  in  Ms  usual  and  ordinary  course  of 
hospitality,  in  his  own  house,  give,  present,  or  allow  to  any  person 
or  persons,  having  voice  or  vote  in  such  elections,  any  money,  meat, 
drink,  entertainment  or  provisions,  or  make  any  present,  gift,  re- 
ward, or  entertainment,  or  any  promise,  agreement,  obligation,  or 
engagement,  to  any  person,  etc.,  shall  be  declared  guilty  of  bribery 
and  corruption,*  and  rendered  incapable  to  sit,  or  vote,  or  to  hold 

Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  the  laws  were  very  strict  in  regard  to  the 
manner  of  holding  elections,  and  it  cannot  be  doubted,  that  an  elec- 
tion held  under  such  laws  would  be  honest  and  would  express  the 
will  of  the  people.  Our  present  law-makers  might  well  learn  a 
lesson  from  the  example  set  them  by  the  law-makers  of  the  Colony 
of  Virginia,  under  the  rule  of  King  George  III. 

Early  in  the  history  of  Fincastle  county,  the  House  of  Burgesses 
enacted  a  law  which  provided,  "that  from  and  after  the  first  day 
of  December  next,  the  inhabitants  of  the  said  county  of  Fincastle 
shall  discharge  all  fees  due  from  them  to  the  secretary  and  other 
officers  in  said  county  at  the  rate  of  8s  and  4  pence,  for  every  hun- 
dredweight of  gross  tobacco. 

The  principle  asserted  by  the  regulators  at  the  Alamance  had 
spread  among  the  American  colonies,  until,  at  the  time  mentioned, 
it  seemed  to  permeate  the  whole  American  body  politic,  and,  on  the 
other  hand',  the  British  Parliament  had  repealed  all  the  port  dnties 
imposed  at  their  session  in  1767,  except  the  duty  of  three  pence  a 
pound  on  tea,  which  was  continued  for  the  purpose  of  maintaining 
the  principle  contended  for  by  the  British  Parliament,  to- wit:  that 
they  had  the  right  to  tax  the  American  Colonists  without  giving 
them   representation,   and  not   for  the   purpose  of   revenue   only. 

*8  Hen.  S.,  page  526. 

160  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

The  American  Colonists  were  opposed'  to  the  principle  of  taxation 
without  representation,  and  they  opposed  a  small  tax  as  bitterly 
as  they  opposed  the  port  duties  of  1767.  The  collection  of  the  tax 
was  resisted  at  every  point,  and,  at  Boston,  the  cargoes  of  tea  were 
thrown  into  the  sea.  Whereupon  the  British  Parliament  passed 
a  bill  closing  Boston  Harbor,  upon  which  information  great  indig- 
nation pervaded  the  entire  colonies.  The  House  of  Burgesses  of 
Virginia  observed  the  first  day  of  the  operation  of  the  bill  closing 
Boston  Harbor,  as  a  fast  day,  and  declared :  "That  any  attack  made 
on  one  of  our  sister  colonies  to  compel  submission  to  arbitrary  taxes 
is  an  attack  ma^e  on  all  British  America,  and  threatened  ruin  to  the 
rights  of  all,  unless  the  united  wisdom  of  the  whole  be  applied." 
And  they  proposed  a  general  Congress  to  take  such  action  as  the 
united  interests  of  the  American  Colonies  might  require.  This 
suggestion,  made  by  the  House  of  Burgesses,  was  accepted  by  all 
the  colonies  and  the  first  Continental  Congress  met  in  Philadelphia, 
on  the  5th  day  of  September,  1774,  just  one  month  and  five 
clays  preceding  the  battle  of  Point  Pleasant. 

The  officers  and  men  under  command  of  Lord  Dunmore,  hearing 
of  the  action  of  the  first  Continental  Congress,  met  and  adopted 
a  resolution,  which  was  as  follows : 

"Eesolved,  That  as  the  love  of  liberty  and  attachment  to  the 
real  Interests  and  just  rights  of  America  outweigh  every  other 
consideration,  they  would  exert  every  power  within  them  for 
the  defence  of  American  Liberty  and  for  the  support  of  her  just 
rights  and  privileges;  not  in  any  precipitate,  riotous,  or  tumultu- 
ous manner,  but  when  regularly  called  forth  by  the  unanimous 
voice  of  our  countrymen." 


The  period  with  which  we  now  purpose  to  deal  will  be  ever 
remembered,  by  reason  of  the  production  of  one  of  those  master- 
pieces of  political  evolution  which  moidd  the  world  and  fix  the 
destiny  of  mankind,  an  event  unsurpassed  in  the  history  of  the 
world;  the  founding  of  the  American  Pepublic.  In  dealing  witli 
this  subject,  we  deem  it  necessary  to  an  intelligent  understanding 
of  the  motives  and  actions  of  the  men  of  that  day,  to  give,  with  some 
particularity,  the  story  complete,  from  its  inception  to  its  culmina- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  161 

tion,  recognizing  that  a  story  partly  told  is  misleading,  and  the 
true  merits  of  a  controversy  are  oftentimes  obscured  by  a  mutilated 
statement,  or  a  half-told  tale.  For  ten  years  preceding  the  resort 
of  the  American  Colonies  to  extreme  measures,  a  bitterly  contested 
controversy  constantly  engaged  the  attention  of  the  British  Gov- 
ernment and  the  American  Colonies,  and  it  has  been  well  said  by 
one  of  the  fathers  of  our  country,  that  the  "Revolution  was  fin- 
ished before  the  war  was  commenced."  Indeed,  it  seems  to  the  stu- 
dent of  our  early  history  at  this  distance  from  the  time  of  the 
occurrences  of  which  we  are  now  Avriting,  that  our  early  fathers  in 
leaving  their  homes,  the  highlands  of  Scotland',  the  bogs  of  Ireland, 
the  fertile  lands  of  old  England,  were  imbued  with  exceedingly  un- 
favorable feelings  toward  the  land  of  their  nativity.  They  were 
devoid  of  that  affection  which  usually  accompanies  the  wanderer 
from  his  native  home,  and  it  is  certain  that  they  lost  no  opportunity 
to  instil  their  prejudices  and  dislikes  into  the  minds  of  their  chil- 
dren and  neighbors,  and  to  resist  the  operation  and  execution  of 
the  laws  enacted  by  the  British  Parliament  and  the  rules  attempted 
to  be  enforced  by  the  Governors  of  the  Colonies.  This  spirit  was 
evidenced  in  old  Virginia  as  early  as  16C6,  at  the  time  of  Bacon's 
Rebellion.  This  spirit,  so  prevalent  among  the  English  colonies  in 
America,  can  be  attributed  to  the  fact  that  a  large  majority  of  the 
early  emigrants  were  driven  from  their  homes  by  the  tyranny  of 
the  English  Government,  and,  after  establishing  themselves  in 
this  country,  their  hatred  was  accentuated  by  the  arbitrary  conduct 
of  the  English  ministry,  in  pursuing  a  contracted  policy,  the  natural 
result  of  which  was  to  abridge  the  liberties  and  property  rights  of 
the  colonies.  A  large  majority  of  the  early  emigrants  to  the  Amer- 
ican colonies  were  inspired  by  that  spirit  of  liberty  that  has  been 
so  much  cherished  in  the  history  of  our  country.  They  were  be- 
lievers in  the  principles  which  prevailed  at  the  time  of  the  execu- 
tion of  Charles  the  First.  Many  of  them  were  the  followers  of 
Oliver  Cromwell,  and  detested  the  arbitrary  conduct  of  the  King 
and  the  rulers  of  England,  and  it  was  from  this  cause  that  they  left 
their  native  country  to  seek  a  home  in  the  wilderness,  vnth  the  deter- 
mination never  to  submit  to  the  oppressions  of  their  native  land. 

Many  of  the  early  emigrants  found  their  homes  among  the  high 
mountains  and  the  pathless  deserts  of  the  new  continent,  the 
nursery  of  the  spirit  of  freedom.     Among  the  early  emigrants  to 

162  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

this  new  country  were  numerous  "Dissenters,"  a  class  of  people 
who  worsEipped  God  according  to  their  own  reason  and  conscience, 
men  who  acknowledged  no  authority  but  that  which  had  been  estab- 
lished by  their  own  sanction  and  consent,  and  this  applied  to  their 
religious  principles  as  well  as  to  their  ideas  of  government.  They 
did  not  admit  the  right  of  the  British  government  to  compel  them 
either  to  attend  or  to  support  the  established  church. 

They  were  principally  from  the  middle  classes,  and  neither  ad- 
mitted nor  countenanced  any  claims  to  honor  or  distinction,  save 
such  as  arose  from  the  exercise  of  industry,  talent,  or  virtue.  In 
their  native  country  they  had  been  tenants,  and  did  not  regard 
themselves  superior  to  the  lowest  of  their  fellow  citizens;  in  their 
new  homes  they  were  freeholders,  and  believed  themselves  equal  to 
the  best,  and,  naturally,  they  soon  detested  that  idea  which  prevailed 
in  the  English  government,  in  accordance  with  which  individuals 
pretended  to  be  their  natural  rulers  and  superiors. 

During  the  French-Indian  war,  the  British  Ministry  proposed  a 
union  of  the  Colonies  for  the  purpose  of  repelling  the  French  en- 
croachments on  the  western  waters;  and,  pureuant  to  this  proposi- 
tion, the  Governor  and  leading  members  of  the  provincial  assem- 
blies convened  at  Albany,  N.  Y.,  in  the  year  1754.  This  Assembly 
was  unanimously  of  the  opinion,  that  the  Colonies  were  able  to 
defend  themselves  from  the  encroachments  of  the  French  without 
assistance  from  the  English  Government.  They  proposed  "that  a 
Grand  Council  should  be  formed  of  members  to  be  chosen  by  the 
provincial  Assemblies,  which  Council,  together  with  a  governor  to 
be  appointed  by  the  Crown,  should  be  authorized  to  make  general 
laws,  and,  also,  to  raise  money  from  all  the  Colonies  for  their  com- 
mon defence."  This  proposition  was  received  by  the  British  Min- 
istry with  displeasure,  and,  in  answer  thereto,  the  ministry  submit- 
ted a  counter-proposition,  which  was  as  follows :  "That  the  Gov- 
ernors of  all  the  Colonies,  attended  by  one  or  two  members  of  their 
respective  Councils,  should,  from  time  to  time,  concert  measures  for 
the  whole  of  the  Colonies,  erect  posts  and  raise  troops,  with  a  power 
to  draw  upon  the  British  treasury,  in  the  first  instance,  for  the 
expense,  which  expense  was  to  be  reimbursed  by  a  tax  to  be  laid  on 
the  Colonies  by  an  act  of  Parliament." 

It  will  be  well  to  observe  that  thus  early  began  the  contentions 
between  the  British  Parliament  and  the  English  Colonies ;  the  Brit- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  163 

ish  Ministry  seeking  to  lodge  the  taxing  power  in  the  hands  of  the 
British  Parliament,  a  body  in  which  the  American  Colonies  were 
not  permitted  to  have  representation,  whereas,  the  Colonies  insisted 
that  the  taxing  power  should  be  vested  in  their  local  institutions. 

This  proposition  upon  the  part  of  the  British  Ministry  gave  great 
dissatisfaction  to  the  people  of  the  Colonies,  as  they  objected  to 
being  taxed  by  a  body  in  which  they  had  no  representation,  but  no 
further  action  was  taken  in  regard  to  the  matter,  until  the  conclu- 
sion of  the  war,  in  1763. 

Previously  to  the  year  1764,  when  the  British  Parliament  desired 
a  contribution  from  the  American  Colonies,  the  object  was  accom- 
plished by  a  simple  requisition  upon  the  legislatures  of  the  several 
Colonies  for  the  sum  needed  and,  in  every  instance,  the  requisition 
had  been  honored  and  the  money  furnished  with  a  willing  hand. 
But,  in  tliis  year,  the  British  Parliament  sought  to  obtain  from 
tlie  American  Colonies  by  a  speedier  method  the  taxes  desired. 

A  measure  was  proposed  in  the  British  Parliament  by  the  Pre- 
mier, George  Grenville,  in  the  year  1764,  having  for  its  object,  "the 
raising  of  a  revenue  in  America,"  the  entire  proceeds  of  which  were 
to  go  into  the  exchequer  of  Great  Britain. 

We  have  before  mentioned  the  dissatisfaction  produced  by  the 
proposition  to  have  the  British  Parliament  levy  a  tax  upon  the 
American  Colonies,  when  the  entire  proceeds  of  the  tax  were  to  be 
used  for  the  development  and  the  protection  of  the  Colonies,  and 
the  reader  can  well  imagine  the  alarm  and  indignation  that  pre- 
vailed in  the  American  Colonies  at  the  suggestion  of  the  British 
Premier,  that  the  British  Parliament  should  lay  a  tax  upon  the 
American  Colonies,  the  entire  proceeds  of  which  were  to  go  into  the 
exchequer  of  Great  Britain. 

Pursuant  to  the  foregoing  proposition,  Mr.  Grenville,  on  the 
lOtli  of  March,  ,1764,  reported  a  resolution  imposing  certain 
""stamp  duties"  on  the  colonies,  with  the  request  that  it  shoidd  not 
be  acted  upon  till  the  next  session  of  the  Parliament.  This  gave 
the  agents  of  the  colonies  in  England  an  opportunity  to  transmit 
copies  of  this  resolution  to  the  assemblies  of  the  several  colonies. 

At  the  time  of  the  receipt  of  this  information  the  Virginia 
House  of  Burgesses  was  in  session,  and  immediately  appointed  a 
committee  to  prepare  an  address  to  the  King  of  Great  Britain  and 
to  the  two  houses  of  the  British  Parliament.     We  hare  give  the 

164  Southwest  Virginia,  17J,0-17S6. 

several  addresses  in  full  as  prepared  by  this  committee  and  re- 
ported to  the  Mouse  of  Burgesses  "To  the  King's  most  excellent 

"Most  gracious  Sovereign, 

"We,  your  Majesty's  dutiful  and  loyal  subjects,  the  Council  and 
Burgesses  of  your  ancient  C'olony  and  dominion  of  Virginia, 
now  met  in  General  Assembly,  beg  leave  to  assure  your  Majesty  of 
our  fii'm  and  inviolable  attachment  to  your  sacred  person  and  gov- 
ernment; and,  as  your  faithful  subjects  here,  have  at  all  times 
been  zealous  to  demonstrate  this  truth  by  a  ready  coaupliance 
with  the  royal  requisitions  during  the  late  war,  by  which  a  heavy 
oppressive  debt  of  near  half  a  million  hath  been  incurred,  so  at 
this  time  they  implore  permission  to  approach  the  throne  with 
humble  confidence,  and  to  entreat  that  your  Majesty  will  be  gra- 
ciously pleased  to  protect  your  people  of  this  Colony  in  the  en- 
joyment of  their  ancient  and  inestimable  right  of  being  gov- 
erned by  such  laws,  respecting  their  internal  polity  and  taxation, 
as  are  derived  from  their  own  consent,  with  the  approbation  of 
their  Sovereign  or  his  substitute;  a  right  which,  as  men,  and 
descendants  of  BEITONS,  they  have  ever  quietly  possessed,  since 
first,  by  royal  permission  and  encouragement,  they  left  the  mother 
kingdom  to  extend  its  commerce  and  dominion. 

"Your  Majesty's  dutiful  subjects  of  Virginia  most  humbly  and 
unanimously  hope  that  this  invaluable  birthright,  descended  to 
them  from  their  ancestors,  and  in  which  they  have  been  protected 
by  your  royal  predecessors,  will  not  be  suffered  to  receive  an  injury, 
under  the  reign  of  your  sacred  Majesty,  already  so  illustriously 
distinguished  by  your  gTacious  attention  to  the  liberties  of  the 

"That  your  Majesty  may  long  live  to  make  nations  happy,  is 
the  ardent  prayer  of  your  faithful  subjects,  the  Council  and  Bur- 
gesses of  Virginia." 

The  memorial  to  the  House  of  Lords  was  as  follows : 

"To  the  right  honorable  the  Lord's  Spiritual  and  Temporal,  in 
Parliament  assembled;  the  Memorial  of  the  Council  and  Bur- 
gresses  of  Virginia,  now  met  in  General  Assembly  humbly  rep- 

"That  your  memorialists  hope  an  application  to  your  lordships, 
the  fixed  and  hereditary  guardians  of  British  liberty,  will  not  be 

Southivest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  165 

thought  improper  at  this  time,  when  measures  are  proposed  suh- 
versive,  as  they  conceive,  of  that  freedom  which  all  men,  especiall}' 
those  who  derive  their  constitution  from  Britain,  have  a  right  to 
enjoy;  and  they  flatter  themselves  that  3'our  lordships  will  not 
look  upon  them  as  objects  so  unworthy  your  attention  as  to  regard 
any  impropriety  in  the  form  or  manner  of  their  application  for 
your  lordship's  protection  of  their  just  and  undoubted  right  as 

"It  cannot  be  presumption  in  your  memorialists  to  call  them- 
selves by  this  distinguished  name,  since  they  are  descended  from 
Britons  who  left  their  native  country  to  extend  its  territory  and 
dominion  and  who,  happily  for  Briton,  and  as  your  memorialists 
once  thought,  for  themselves  too,  effected  this  purpose.  As  our 
ancestors  brought  with  them  every  right  and  privilege  they  could 
with  justice  claim  in  their  mother  kingdom,  their  descendants  may 
conclude  they  cannot  be  deprived  of  those  rights  without  injustice. 

"Your  memorialists  conceive  it  to  be  a  fundamental  principle 
of  the  British  constitution,  without  which  freedom  can  no  where 
exist,  that  the  people  are  not  sul^jcct  to  any  taxes  but  such  as  are 
laid  on  them  by  their  own  consent,  or  by  those  who  are  legally 
appointed  to  represent  them ;  property  must  become  too  precarious 
for  the  genius  of  a  free  people,  whicli  can  be  taken  from  them  at 
the  will  of  others  who  cannot  know  M^hat  taxes  such  people  can 
bear,  or  the  easiest  mode  of  raising  them ;  and  who  are  not  under 
that  restraint  which  is  the  greatest  security  against  a  burthensome 
taxation,  when  the  representatives  themselves  must  be  affected  by 
every  tax  imposed  on  the  people. 

"Your  memorialists  are  therefore  led  into  an  humble  confidence 
that  your  lordships  will  not  think  any  reason  sufficient  to  support 
such  a  power  in  the  British  Parliament,  where  the  Colonies  can- 
not be  represented :  a  power  never  before  constitutionally  assumed, 
and  which,  if  they  have  a  right  to  exercise  it  on  any  occasion,  must 
necessarily  establish  this  melancholy  truth,  that  the  inhabitants  of 
the  Colonies  are  the  slaves  of  Britons,  from  whom  they  are 
descended,  and  from  whom  they  might  expect  every  indulgence  that 
the  obligations  of  interest  and  affection  can  entitle  them  to. 

"Your  memorialists  have  been  invested  with  the  right  of  taxing 
their  own  people  from  the  first  establishment  of  a  regular  govern- 
ment in  the  Colony,  and  requisitions  have  been  constantly  made 

166  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

to  them  by  their  sovereigns  on  all  occasions  when  the  assist- 
ance of  the  Colony  was  thought  necessary  to  preserve  the  British 
interest  in  America;  from  whence  they  must  conclude,  they  can- 
not now  be  deprived  of  a  ri,uiit  they  have  so  long  enjoyed  and 
which  they  have  never  forfeited. 

"The  expenses  incurred  during  the  last  war,  in  compliance  with 
the  demands  on  this  C^olony  by  our  late  and  present  most  gracious 
Sovereigns,  have  involved  us  in  a  debt  of  near  half  a  million,  a 
debt  not  likely  to  decrease  under  the  continued  expense  we  are  at  in 
providing  for  the  security  of  the  people  against  the  incursions  of 
our  savage  neighbors,  at  a  time  when  the  low  state  of  our  staple 
commodit}',  the  total  want  of  specie  and  the  late  restrictions  upon 
the  trade  of  the  Colonies,  render  the  circumstances  of  the  people 
extremely  distressful;  and  wliich,  if  taxes  are  accumulated  upon 
them  by  the  British  Parliament,  will  make  them  truly  deplorable. 

"Your  memorialisty  cannot  suggest  to  themselves  any  reason 
why  they  should  not  still  be  trusted  with  the  property  ol  their  peo- 
ple, with  whose  abilities  and  the  least  burthensome  mode  of  taxing 
(with  great  deference  to  the  superior  wisdom  of  Parliament)  they 
must  be  best  acquainted. 

Your  memorialists  hope  they  shall  not  be  suspected  of  being 
actuated  on  this  occasion  by  any  principles  but  those  of  the  purest 
loyalty  and  affection,  as  they  have  always  endeavored  by  their  con- 
duct to  demonstrate  that  they  considered  their  connexion  with 
Great  Britain,  the  seat  of  liberty,  as  their  greatest  happiness. 

"The  duty  they  owe  to  themselves,  and  their  posterity  lays  your 
memorialists  under  the  necessity  of  endeavoring  to  estalilish  their 
Constitution  upon  its  proper  foundation ;  and  they  do  most  hum- 
bly pray  your  lordships  to  take  this  subject  into  your  consideration, 
with  the  attention  that  is  due  to^  the  well  being  of  the  Colonies,  on 
which  the  prosperity  of  Great  Britain  does,  in  a  great  measure, 

•  And  the  remonstrance  to  the  House  of  Commons  was  this : 
"To  the  honorable  Knights,  Citizens  and  Burgesses  of  Great  Brit- 
ain in  Parliament  assembled : 

"The  remonstrance  of  the  Council  and  Burgesses  of  Virginia. 

"It  appearing  by  the  printed  votes  of  the  House  of  Commons 
of  Great  Britain,  in  Parliament  assembled,  that  in  a  committee 
of  the  whole  House,  the  17th  day  of  March  last,  it  was  resolved,  that 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  167 

towards  defending,  protecting  and  securing  the  British  Colonies 
and  Plantations  in  America,  it  may  be  proper  to  charge  certain 
stamp  duties  in  the  said  Colonies  and  Plantations;  and  it  being 
apprehended  that  the  same  subject,  which  was  then  declined,  may 
be  resumed  and  further  pursued  in  a  succeeding  session,  the  Coim- 
cil  and  Burgesses  of  Virginia,  met  in  the  General  Assembly,  judge 
it  their  indispensable  duty,  in  a  respectful  manner,  but  with  decent 
firmness,  to  remonstrate  against  such  a  measure,  that  at  least  a 
cession  of  those  rights,  which  in  their  opinion  must  be  infringed 
by  that  procedure,  may  not  be  inferred  from  their  silence  at  so 
important  a  crisis. 

"They  conceive  it  is  essential  to  British  liberty,  that  laws,  impos- 
ing taxes  on  the  people,  ought  not  to.  be  made  without  the  consent  of 
representatives  chosen  by  themselves;  who  at  the  same  timje  that 
they  are  acquainted  with  the  circumstances  of  their  constituents, 
sustain  a  portion  of  the  burthen  laid  on  them.  The  privileges 
inlierent  in  the  persons  who  discovered  and  settled  these  regions, 
could  not  be  renounced  nor  forfeited  by  their  remO'Val  hither,  not 
as  vagabonds  or  fugitives,  but  licensed  and  encouraged  by  their 
Prince  and  animated  with  a  laudable  desire  of  enlarging  the 
British  dominion  and  extending  its  commerce;  on  the  contrary,  it 
was  secured  to  them  and  their  descendants,  with  all  other  rights 
and  immunities  of  British  subjects,  by  a  Eoyal  Charter  which 
liath  been  invariably  recognized  and  confirmed  by  his  Majesty  and 
liis  predecessors,  in  their  commissions  to  the  several  Governors, 
granting  a  power  and  prescribing  a  form  of  legislation,  according  to 
which,  laws  for  the  administration  of  justice  and  the  welfare  and 
good  government  of  the  Colony  have  been  hitherto  enacted  by  the 
Governor,  Council  and  General  Assembly,  and  to  them,  requisitions 
and  applications  for  supplies  have  been  directed  by  the  Crown. 
As  an  instance  of  the  opinion  which  former  Sovereigns  entertained 
of  these  rights  and  privileges,  we  beg  leave  to  refer  to  the  three 
Acts  of  the  General  Assembly  passed  in  the  thirty-second  year  of 
the  reign  of  King  Charles  II,  one  of  which  is  entitled  'An  Act  for 
raising  a  public  revenue  for  the  better  support  of  the  government 
of  his  Majesty's  Colony  of  Virginia,'  imposing  several  duties  for 
that  purpose,  which,  being  thought  absolutely  necessary,  were  pre- 
pared in  England  and  sent  over  by  their  then  governor,  the  Lord 
Culpeper,  to  be  passed  by  the  General  Assembly,  with  a  full  power 

ICxS  Southwest  Virginia,  17JfG-17SG. 

to  give  tlie  royal  assent  thereto,  and  which  were  accordingly  passed, 
after  several  amendments  were  made  to  them  here;  thus  tender 
was  his  Majesty  of  tlu^  rights  of  his  American  subjects;  and  the 
remonstrants  do  not  discern  by  what  distinction  they  can  be 
deprived  of  that  sacred  birthright  and  most  valuable  inheritance 
by  their  fellow  subjects,  nor  with  what  propriety  they  can  be  taxed 
or  affected  in  their  estates,  by  the  Parliament,  wherein  they  are  not, 
and  indeed  cannot,  constitutionally  be  represented. 

"And  if  it  wore  proposed  for  the  Parliament  to  impose  taxes  on 
the  Colonics  at  all,  which  the  remonstrants  take  leave  to  think 
would  be  inconsistent  with  the  fundamental  principles  of  the  Con- 
stitution, the  exercise  of  that  power,  at  this  time,  would  be  ruinous 
to  Virginia,  who  exerted  herself  in  the  late  war,  it  is  feared, 
beyond  her  strength,  insomuch  that  to  redeem  the  money  granted 
for  that  exigency,  her  people  are  taxed  for  several  years  to  come : 
this,  with  the  larger  expenses  incurred  for  defending  the  frontiers 
against  the  restless  Indians  who  have  infested  her  as  much  since 
the  peace  as  before,  is  so  grievous,  that  an  increase  of  the  burthen 
would  be  intolerable;  especially  as  the  people  are  very  greatly  dis- 
tressed already  from  the  scarcity  of  circulating  cash  among  them 
and  from  the  little  value  of  their  staple  at  the  British  markets. 

"And  it  is  presumed  that  adding  to  that  load  which  the  Colony 
now  labors  under  will  not  be  more  oppressive  to  her  people  than 
destructive  of  the  interest  of  Great  Britain ;  for  the  Plantation 
trade,  confined  as  it  is  to  the  mother  country,  hath  been  a  principal 
means  of  multiplying  and  enriching  her  inhabitants;  and,  if  not  too 
much  discouraged,  may  prove  an  inexhaustible  source  of  treasure 
to  the  nation.  For  satisfaction  on  this  jwint,  let  the  present  state 
of  the  British  fleets  and  trade  be  compared  with  what  they  were 
before  the  settlement  of  the  Colonies ;  and  let  it  be  considered,  that, 
whilst  property  in  land  may  be  acquired  on  very  easy  terms  in  the 
vast  imcultivated  territory  of  North  Amei'iea,  the  Colonists  svill 
be  mostly,  if  not  wholly,  employed  in  agriculture,  whereby  the 
exportation  of  their  comiiindities  to  Great  Britain  and  ihe  con- 
sumption of  manufactnrers  supplied  from  thence  will  be  daily 
increasing.  But  this  most  desirable  connexion  between  Great 
Britain  and  her  Colonies,  supported  by  such  a  happy  intercourse 
of  reciprocal  benefits  as  is  continually  advancing  the  prosperity 
of  both,  must  be  interrupted,  if  the  people  of  the  latter,  reduced 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  169 

to  extreme  poverty,  should  be  compelled  to  maniifactiire  those  arti- 
cles they  have  been  hitherto  furnished  with  from  the  former. 

"From  these  considerations,  it  is  hoped  that  the  Honorable  House 
of  Commons  will  not  prosecute  a  measure  which  those  who  may 
suffer  under  it  cannot  but  look  upon  as  fitter  for  exiles  driven  from 
their  native  country,  after  ignominiously  forfeiting  her  favors  and 
protection,  than  for  the  posterity  of  Britons,  who  have  at  all  times 
been  forward  to  demonstrate  all  due  reverence  to  the  mother 
Kingdom  and  are  so  instrumental  in  promoting  her  glory  and 
felicity ;  and  that  British  patriots  will  never  consent  to  the  exercise 
of  any  anti-constitutional  power,  which,  even  in  this  remote  cor- 
ner, may  be  dangerous  in  its  example  to  the  interior  parts  of  the 
British  empire,  and  will  certainly  be  detrimental  to  its  commerce." 

The  several  papers  above  given  breathe  a  spirit  of  humility  and 
dependence  that  did  not  correctly  voice  the  sentiments  of  the  Vir- 
ginia Colonists,  and  possibly  thereby  the  British  Parliament  was 
deceived  and  led  to  believe  that  the  American  Colonies  would  not 
assert  their  opposition  to  the  tax  measures  proposed,  otherwise 
than  by  protest  through  their  Assemblies. 

Most  of  the  Colonies  adopted  resolutions  protesting  against  the 
enactment  of  such  a  law ;  some  offering  a  specific  sum  of  money  in 
lieu  of  the  proposed  tax,  provided  it  was  received  as  a  voluntary 
donation.  But  no  one  of  the  Colonies  was  willing  to  admit  that 
the  British  Parliament  had  any  right  to  tax  them,  while  they  were 
denied  representation  therein. 

Mr.  Grenville  and  his  friends  argued  that  the  Colonies  were 
already  represented  in  the  same  manner  as  a  large  proportion  of  the 
inhabitants  of  England  who  had  no  vote  in  the  election  of  mem- 
bers of  Parliament,  and  this  same  argument  is  often  indulged  in 
by  the  advocates  of  a  restricted  suffrage  at  the  present  time.  In 
answer  to  this  ridiculous  argument,  the  Colonies  contended  that 
"the  very  essence  of  representation  consists  in  this;  that  the 
representative  is  himself  placed  in  a  situation  analogous  to  those 
whom  he  represents,  so  that  he  shall  be  himself  bound  by  laws  which 
he  is  entrusted  to  enact  and  shall  be  liable  to  the  taxes  which  he 
is  authorized  to  impose." 

But  the  soamd  reasoning  and  the  humble  petitioning  of  the 
American  Colonies  did  not  influence  the  British  Parliament,  the 
memorials  and  petitions  were  not  permitted  to  be  read  in  the  House 

170  Southwest  Virginia-,  1746-1786. 

of  Coninioiis,  and  iu  the  month  of  March,  17G5,  the  hill  for  laying 
a  stamp  duty  in  .America  was  called  up  in  the  House  of  Commons, 
but  little  o|)})osition  was  shown  to  the  measure,  and  few  indeed  were 
the  members  who  denied  the  right  of  Parliament  to  tax  the  Colo- 

It  may  be  worthy  to  note  the  circumstances  attending  the 
debate  upon  this  measure  in  the  House  of  Commons.  Mr.  Charles 
Townsend,  an  advocate  of  this  measure,  concluded  his  speech  in 
advocacy  of  the  measure  in  the  following  words;  "And  now,  will 
these  Americans,  children  planted  hy  our  care,  nourished,  hi/  our 
indulgence,  till  they  are  grown  to  a  degree  of  strength  and  opulence 
and  protected  hy  our  arms,  will  they  grudge  to  contribute  their 
mite  to'  relieve  us  from  the  heavy  weight  of  that  burden  which  we 
lie  under?"  Colonel  Barre,  one  of  the  most  respectable  mem- 
bers of  the  House  of  Commons,  with  strong  feelings  of  indignation 
visible  in  his  countenance  and  manner,  thus  eloquently  replied ; 
"They  planted  hy  your  care!  No,  your  oppression  planted  them 
in  America.  They  fled  from  tyranny  to  a  then  uncultivated  and 
inhospitable  country,  where  they  exposed  themselves  to  almost  all 
the  hardships  to  which  human  nature  is  liable,  and  among  others 
to  the  cruelty  of  a  savage  foe,  the  most  subtle,  and  I  will  take  upon 
me  to  say,  the  most  formidable  of  any  people  upon  the  face  of 
the  earth ;  and  yet,  actuated  by  principles  of  true  English  liberty, 
they  met  all  hardships  with  pleasure  compared  with  those  they 
suffered  in  their  own  country  from  the  hands  of  those  that  should 
have  been  their  friends.  They  nourished  hy  your  indulgence! 
They  grew  up  by  your  neglect  of  them.  As  soon  as  you  began  to 
care  about  them,  that  care  was  exercised  in  sending  persons  to  rule 
them  in  one  department  and  another,  who  were  perhaps  the  deputies 
of  deputies  to  some  members  of  this  House,  sent  to  spy  out  their 
liberties,  to  misrepresent  their  actions  and  to  prey  upon  them. 
Men  whose  behaviour,  on  many  occasions,  has  caused  the  blood  of 
these  sons  of  liberty  to  recoil  within  them,  men,  who  were  pro- 
moted to  the  highest  seats  of  justice,  some  who,  to  my  knowledge, 
were  glad,  by  going  to  a  foreign  coimtry  to  escape  being  brought  to 
the  bar  of  a  court  of  justice  in  their  own.  They  protected  hy  your 
arms!  They  have  nobly  taken  up  arms  in  your  defence,  have 
exerted  a  valour,  amidst  their  constant  and  laborious  industry,  for 
the  defence  of  a  country  whose  frontier  was  drenched  in  blood. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  171 

while  its  interior  parts  yielded  all  its  little  savings  to  yoim* 
emolument.  And,  believe  me,  remember  I  this  day  told  you  so, 
that  same  spirit  of  freedom  which  actuated  that  people  at  first 
will  accompany  them  still;  but  prudence  forbids  me  to  explain 
myself  further.  God  knows  I  do  not  at  this  time  speak  from  any 
motives  of  party  heat.  What  I  deliver  are  the  genuine  sentiments 
of  my  heart.  However  superior  to  me  in  general  knowledge  and 
experience  the  respectable  body  of  this  House  may  be,  yet,  I  claim 
to  know  more  of  America  than  most  of  you,  having  seen  and  been 
conversant  in  that  country.  The  people,  I  believe,  are  as  truly 
loyal  as  any  subjects  the  King  has,  but  a  people  jealous  of  their 
liberties,  and  who  will  vindicate  them  if  ever  they  should  be  vio- 
lated.   But  the  subject  is  too  delicate.    I  will  say  no  more." 

Notwithstanding  the  opposition  made  to  the  passage  of  this  bill, 
it  passed  the  House  of  Commons,  and  on  the  22d  day  of  March, 
1765,  having  met  with  the  unanimous  approval  of  the  House  of 
Lords,  it  received  the  royal  assent.  By  the  provisions  of  this  bill, 
this  law  was  not  to  go  into  effect  until  the  first  day  of  November, 

When  the  intelligence  of  the  passage  of  this  measure  reached 
Virginia,  the  indignation  and  rage  of  the  people  knew  no  bounds. 
While  no  violence  was  offered,  the  Virginia  House  of  Burgesses,  by 
a  series  of  resolutions  proposed  by  Patrick  Henry,  expressed  the 
sentiments  of  the  people  in  a  dignified  and  explicit  manner,  the 
resolutions  being  as  follows; 

"Eesolved,  That  the  first  adventurers  and  settlers  of  this,  his 
Majesty's  Colony  and  dominion,  brought  with  them  and  trans- 
mitted to  their  posterity  and  all  others  his  Majesty's  subjects 
since  inhabiting  in  this,  his  Majesty's  said  Colony,  all  the  privileges, 
franchises  and  immunities  that  have  been  at  any  time  held,  enjoyed 
and  possessed  by  the  people  of  Great  Britain. 

"Eesolved,  That  by  two  Eoyal  Charters  granted  by  King  James 
the  First,  the  Colonists  aforesaid  are  declared  entitled  to  all  the 
privileges,  liberties  and  immunities  of  denizens  and  natural  born 
subjects,  to  all  intents  and  purposes,  as  if  they  had  been  abiding 
and  born  within  the  realm  of  England. 

"Eesolved,  That  the  taxation  of  the  people  by  themselves,  or 
by  persons  chosen  by  themselves  to  represent  them,  who  can  only 
know  what  taxes  the  people  are  able  to  bear  and  the  easist  mode 

173  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

of  raising  tliem  and  arc  equally  affected  by  sucli  taxes  themselves, 
is  the  distinguishing  characteristic  of  British  freedom,  and  with- 
out which  the  ancient  constitution  cannot  subsist. 

"Resolved,  That  his  Majesty's  liege  people  of  this  most  ancient 
Colony  have  uninterruptedly  enjoyed  the  right  of  being  thus  gov- 
erned by  their  own  assembly  in  the  article  of  their  taxes  and  inter- 
nal police,  and  the  same  hath  never  been  forfeited,  or  in  any  other 
way  given  up,  but  hath  been  constantly  recognized  by  the  King  and 
people  of  Great  Britain. 

"Resolved,  therefore,  That  the  General  Assembly  of  this  Colony 
have  the  sole  right  and  power  to  lay  taxes  and  impositions  upon 
the  inhabitants  of  this  Colony;  and  that  every  attempt  to  vest 
such  power  in  any  person  or  persons  whatsoever,  other  than  tho 
General  Assembly  aforesaid,  has  a  manifest  tendency  to  destroy 
British  as  well  as  American  freedom." 

The  foregoing  resolutions  passed  the  House  of  Burgesses  in  May, 
1765,  and  formed  the  first  opposition  to  the. Stamp  Act  and  the 
scheme  of  taxing  America  by  the  British  Parliament.  Heretofore, 
it  had  been  humble  petitions,  now,  we  have  reached  the  point 
where  the  Colonies  were  defiantly  asserting  their  rights.  Patrick 
Henry,  at  this  time,  was  quite  a  young  man,  this  being  the  first 
time  that  he  had  served  his  country  in  the  House  of  Burgesses,  and, 
while  he  was  inexperienced,  he  was  inspired  by  that  spirit  of  liberty 
which  was  the  common  heritage  of  the  early  settlers  of  the  Amer- 
ican wilderness.  "When  these  resolutions  were  offered  in  the  House 
of  Burgesses,  many  violent  debates  took  place,  and,  after  a  great 
deal  of  oppasition,  the  resolutions  were  adopted  by  a  majority  of, 
possibly,  one  or  two  votes.  During  the  progress  of  the  debate  upon 
these  resolutions,  Patrick  Henry  gave  utterance  to  the  following 
words ; 

"Caesar,"  exclaimed  the  orator,  "had  his  Brutus ;  Charles  the 
First,  his  Cromwell,  nnd  George  the  Third  may  profit  by  his  ex- 

The  passage  of  these  resolutions  gave  impetus  to  tlie  cause  of 
American  liberty  and  produced  an  alarming  state  of  affairs  among 
the  uiore  timid  and  loyal  inhal)itants.  In  Massachusetts  the  opj)osi- 
tion  took  a  different  form,  and,  in  the  city  of  Boston,  the  populace 
indulged  in  every  act  of  violence  that  could  be  imagined,  in  the 
exhibition  of  their  dislike  of  the  law  and  the  law  officers.     The 

Southwest  Virginia,  l7Jf6-1786.  1'<'3 

ships  in  the  harhor  placed  their  flags  at  half  mast,  the  bells 
tlironghoiit  the  town  were  tolling,  the  ship  masters  who  bought  the 
stamps  were  mistreated  and  insulted  and  required  to  deliver  the 
stamps  to  the  people,  who  made  a  bonfire  of  them  and  of  the  law. 
Meetings  were  held  througliout  the  colonies,  protesting  against 
this  act  of  the  British  Parliament  and  asserting  the  inalienable 
right  of  the  American  people. 

On  the  second  Tuesday  in  October,  1765,  pursuant  to  a  resolu- 
tion adopted  by  the  Assembly  of  Massachusetts,  the  first  Couti- 
nental  Congress  assembled  at  New  York,  "to  consult  as  to  the 
circumstances  of  the  Colonies  and  to  consider  the  most  proper 
means  of  averting  the  diflficulties  under  which  they  labored." 
Twenty-eight  deputies,  representing  the  States  of  Massachusetts, 
Rhode  Island,  Connecticut,  New  Jersey,  Pennsylvania,  Delaware, 
Maryland  and  South  Carolina,  composed  this,  the  first  Continental 
Congress  held  on  American  soil ;  Virginia,  New  York,  North  Caro- 
lina and  Georgia  were  prevented  from  sending  delegates  to  this 
Congress  by  the  action  of  their  royal  Governors,  by  dissolving  their 
respective  assemblies  before  action  could  be  taken  in  the  premises. 

This  Congress  adopted  a  series  of  resolutions  stating  the  griev- 
ances of  the  Colonies  and,  in  positive  terms,  asserting  the  exemp- 
tion of  the  Colonies  fro'm  all  taxes  not  imposed  by  their  own  Legis- 
latures. They  also  addressed  a  petition  to  the  House  of  Lords  and 
to  the  King  and  Commons,  and  on  the  25th  of  October  adjourned. 

The  first  day  of  November,  1765,  the  date  fixed  for  the  Stamp 
Act  to  take  efi'ect,  arrived,  and  the  day  in  the  city  of  Boston  was 
ushered  in  by  the  closing  of  business  houses  and  the  tolling  of  church 
bells,  and  Governor  Bernard  and  Justice  Hutchinson,  the  advocates 
of  the  British  Parliament  in  Massachusetts,  were  hung  in  effigy 
on  Boston  Neck,  where  the  effigies  were  permitted  tO'  remain  awhile, 
when  they  were  cut  down  and  torn  to  pieces,  to  the  great  delight 
of  the  people.  In  many  places  public  notice  was  given  to  the 
friends  of  TAberty  to  attend  her  funeral,  and  a  large  coffin  was 
prepared,  upon  which  was  written  the  word  LIBERTY.  This 
coffin  was  attended  to  tlie  grave  by  an  immense  concourse  of  people, 
where,  after  the  firing  o,f  minute-guns,  an  oration  was  pro- 
nounced, and  the  word  REVIVED  added  to  the  former  inscription, 
amidst  the  shouts  and  acclamations  of  the  people.  Throughout  the 
Colonies  the  stamp  papers  were  forcibly  taken   from  the  stamp 

174  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

officials  and  destroyed,  and  the  business  of  the  country  proceeded 
as  if  the  Stamp  law  had  never  been  enacted. 

Upon  the  assembling  of  Parliament  on  the  14th  day  of  January, 
17()(),  upon  a  motion  for  an  address  to  the  King,  William  Pitt,  one 
of  the  greatest  of  English  statesmen,  offered  the  following  remarks 
upon  the  state  of  the  country; 

"It  is  a  long  time,  Mr.  Speaker,"  said  he,  "since  I  have  attended 
in  Parliament.  When  the  resolutions  were  taken  in  this  House  to 
tax  America,  I  was  ill  in  bed.  If  I  could  have  endured  to  have 
been  carried  in  my  bed,  so  great  was  the  agitation  of  my  mind  for 
the  consequences,  I  would  have  solicited  some  kind  hand  to  have 
laid  me  down  on  this  floor  to  have  borne  my  testimony  against  it. 
It  is  my  opinion  that  this  Kingdom  has  no  right  to  lay  a  tax  upon 
the  Colonies.  At  the  same  time,  I  assert  the  authority  of  this 
Kingdom  to  be  sovereign  and  supreme  in  every  circumstance  of 
government  and  legislature  whatever.  Taxation  is  no  part  of  the 
governing  or  legislative  power;  the  taxes  are  a  voluntary  gift  and 
grant  of  the  Commons  alone.  The  concurrence  of  the  Peers  and  of 
the  Crown  is  necessary  only  as  a  form  of  law.  This  House  repre- 
sents the  Commons  of  Great  Britain.  When  in  this  House  we 
give  and  grant,  therefore,  we  give  and  grant  what  is  our  own,  btit 
can  we  give  and  grant  the  property  of  the  Commons  of  America'? 
It  is  an  absurdity  in  terms.  There  is  an  idea  in  some,  that  the 
Colonies  are  virtually  represented  in  this  House.  I  would  fain 
know  hy  whomf .  The  idea  of  virtual  representation  is  the  most 
contemptible  that  ever  entered  into  the  head  of  man;  it  does  not 
deserve  a  serious  refutation.  The  Commons  in  America,  repre- 
sented in  their  several  assembles,  have  invariably  exercised  this 
constitutional  right  of  giving  and  granting  their  own  money;  they 
would  have  been  slaves  if  they  had  not  enjoyed  it.  At  the  same 
time  this  Kingdom  has  ever  professed  the  power  of  legislative  and 
commercial  control.  The  Colonies  acknowledge  your  authority  in 
all  things,  with  the  sole  exception  that  you  shall  not  take  their 
money  out  of  their  pockets  without  their  consent.  Here  would  I 
draw  the  line;  quam  ultra  citraque  nequit  consistere  rectum." 

This  address  was  replied  to  by  Mr.  Grenville  in  a  speech  that 
voiced  the  sentiments  of  that  part  of  the  people  of  England  that 
wished  to  tax  the  Colonies,  and,  in  reply,  William  Pitt  submitted 
the  following  remarks: 

Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786.  175 

"Sir,  a  charge  is  brought  aginst  gentlemen  sitting  in  this  House, 
for  giving  birth  to  sedition  in  America.  The  freedom  with  which 
the}^  have  spoken  their  sentiments  against  this  unhappy  act  is 
imputed  to  them  as  a  crime,  but  the  imputation  shall  not  dis- 
courage me.  It  is  a  liberty  which  I  hope  no  gentleman  will  be 
afraid  to  exercise ;  it  is  a  liberty  by  which  the  gentleman  who 
calumniates  it  might  have  profited. .  He  ought  to  have  desisted  from 
his  project.  We  are  told  America  is  obstinate,  America  is  almost 
in  open  rebellion.  Sir,  /  rejoice  that  America  has  resisted;  three 
millions  of  people  so  dead  to'  all  the  feelings  of  liberty  as  volun- 
tarily to  submit  to  be  slaves,  would  have  been  fit  instruments  to 
make  slaves  of  all  the  rest ". 

I  maintain  that  Parliment  has  a  right  to  bind,  to  restrain  Amierica. 
Oiir  legislative  power  over  the  Colonies  is  sovereign  and  supreme. 
The  honorable  gentlemen  tells  us  he  i;nderstands  not  the  difference 
between  internal  and  external  taxation.;  but  surely  there  is  a  plain 
distinction  between  taxation  levied  for  the  purpose  of  raising  a 
revenue  and  duties  imposed  for  the  regulation  of  commierce. 
'When,'  said  the  honorable  gentleman,  'were  the  Colonies  emanci- 
pated f  At  what  time,  say  T,  in  answer,  'were  they  made  slaves?' 
I  speak  from  accurate  knowledge  when  I  say,  that  the  profits  to 
Great  Britain  from  the  trade  of  the  Colonies,  through  all  its 
branches,  is  two  millions  per  annum.  This  is  the  fund  which  car- 
ried 5"0u  triumphantly  through  the  war;  this  is  the  price 
America  pays  you  for  her  protection ;  and  shall  a  miserable  financier 
come  with  a  boast  that  he  can  fetch  a  pepper-com  into  the 
Exchequer  at  the  loss  of  millions  to  the  nation  ?  I  Imow  the  valour 
of  your  troops,  I  know  the  skill  of  your  officers,  I  know  the  force 
of  this  country ;  but  in  such  a  cause  your  success  would  be  hazard- 
ous. America,  if  she  fell,  would  fall  like  the  strong  man ;  she  would 
embrace  the  pillars  of  the  state  and  pull  down  the  Constitution  with 
her.  Is  this  yoiir  boasted  peace?  not  to  sheathe  the  sword  in  the 
scabbard,  but  to  sheathe  it  in  the  bowels  of  your  coimtrymen? 
The  Americans  have  been  wronged,  they  have  been  driven  to  mad- 
ness by  injustice.  Will  you  punish  them  for  the  madness  you  have 
occasioned?  No;  let  this  country  be  the  first  to  resume  its 
prudence  and  temper.  I  will  pledge  myself  for  the  Colonies,  that, 
on  their  part,  animosity  and  resentment  will  cease.     The  system 

176  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

of  policy  I  would  earnestly  exhort  Great  Britain  tO'  adopt  in  rela- 
tion to  America  is  happily  expressed  in  the  words  of  a  favorite 
poet : 

'Be  to  her  faults  a  little  blind, 

Be  to  her  virtues  very  kind ; 

Let  all  her  ways  be  unconfin'd, 

And  clap  your  padlock  on  her  mind.' 

Upon  the  whole,  I  will  beg  leave  to  tell  the  House  in  a  few 
words  what  is  really  my  opinion.  It  is.  That  the  Stamp  Act  he 

On  the  23d  day  of  February,  176G,  a  bill  was  introduced  in  the 
House  of  Commons  having  for  its  purpose  the  repeal  of  the  Stamp 
Act,  which  bill  was  carried  by  a  vote  of  275  for,  to  177  against,  its 
repeal.  The  joy  of  the  peo])le  at  the  result  of  this  action  of  the 
House  of  Comanons  was  great.  The  opposition  to  the  repeal  of 
the  Stamp  Act  in  the  House  of  Peers  was  much  stronger  than  in 
the  House  of  Commons,  and  it  was  not  till  the  18th  day  of  March, 
1766,  that  the  repeal  was  carried,  and  then  by  a  majority  of  only 
34.  On  the  19th  day  of  March,  1766,  the  King  appeared  in  the 
House  of  Commons  and  gave  his  assent,  and  thereby  the  war 
between  the  English  Colonies  and  the  British  Government  was 
averted  for  the  time  being. 

'  In  Virginia,  this  information  was  received  with  great  joy  by 
all  classes  of  people,  and  the  Virginia  House  of  Burgesses 
voted  a  statue  to  the  King.  The  joy  that  followed  the  repeal  of 
the  Stamp  Act  was  of  bnt  short  duration.  The  Colonies  began  to 
realize  that,  by  the  repeal  of  the  Stamp  Act,  England  had  virtually 
surrendered  nothing,  as  Parliament  still  maintained  the  right  to 
tax  the  Colonists,  and,  by  the  fall  of  the  year  1766,  discontent  again 
pervaded  the  Colonies.  The  Virginia  House  oi  Burgesses  post- 
poned the  consideration  of  the  Act  providing  for  a  statue  for  the 
King  until  some  succeeding  session.  When  the  new  Parliament 
assembled  in  the  year  1767,  they  received  information  that  the 
Assembly  of  New  York  had  refused  to  pass  a  bill  providing  for 
the  support  of  his  Majesty's  troops  which  had  been  stationed  among 
the  people  of  that  Colony.  Whereupon  Mr.  Grenville,  the  leader 
of  the  Parliamentary  forces  favoring  the  taxation  of  the  American 
colonies,  introduced  a  bill  the  object  of  which  was  to  restrain  the 
Assembly  and  Council  of  New  York  from  passing  any  act,  until 
they  had  complied  with  the  requisition  of  the  act  thus  mentioned, 

Southwest  Virginia,  171,6-1786.  177 

which  bill  was  almost  immediately  passed  and  became  a  law.  About 
the  same  time  a  body  of  British  troops  arrived  in  Boston,  and 
Governor  Bernard  immediately  began  to  provide  for  their  support 
out  of  the  public  treasury.  Both  of  the  above  acts  produced  a  great 
deal  of  discontent  in  the  Colonies,  and  in  the  month  of  June,  1767, 
a  bill  was  introduced  l^y  Charles  Townsend  in  the  British  Parlia- 
ment, imposing  duties  on  glass,  painters'  colours,  tea  and  paper, 
imported  into  the  Colonies.  Also,  another  bill  authorizing  the 
King  to  appoint  a  Board  of  Trade  to  reside  in  the  Colonies.  Also, 
a  bill  establishing  a  Board  of  Admiralty  in  the  Colonies  to  be  paid 
from  the  colonial  revenue,  but  to  be  independent  of  all  colonial 
regulations,  and  another  bill  fixing  the  salaries  of  the  Governors 
and  other  officials  of  the  American  Colonies.  These  several  bills 
passed  the  House  of  Commons  with  but  two  dissenting  votes,  and 
received  the  royal  assent  on  the  2d  day  of  July,  1767. 

It  will  be  observed  that  the  system  of  taxation  proposed  by  Mr. 
Townsend  and  adopted  by  the  British  Parliament  was,  beyond 
question,  a  legal  exercise  of  the  right  of  Parliament  to  regulate  the 
commerce  of  the  Colonies,  and  this  right  had  oftentimes,  thereto- 
fore, been  admitted  by  the  American  Colonists,  but  the  people  of 
New  York  and  of  Massachusetts  were  greatly  irritated  by  the 
presence  of  the  British  soldiery  in  their  respective  Colonies,  and 
acting  upon  the  presumption  that  this  action  of  the  British  Parlia- 
ment was  nothing  more  than  a  forerunner  of  other  oppressive  meas- 
ures against  the  Colonies,  numerous  petitions  and  remonstrances 
were  addressed  to  the  King  and  Parliament,  but  failed  to  accom- 
plish any  good  result.  The  merchants  and  citizens  of  nearly  all 
the  Colonies  assembled  in  their  different  towns  and  bound  them- 
selves not  to  purchase  goods  of  any  character  from  the  British 
manufacturers,  while  these  obnoxious  laws  continued  in  force. 

The  Assembly  of  Massachusetts  Colony  addressed  a  circular  letter 
to  the  Legislatures  of  the  other  Colonies  requesting  their  assistance 
and  co-operation,  which  letter  was  responded  to  by  all  the  Colonies, 
expressing  their  willingness  to  stand  with  Massachusetts  by  what 
had  been  done  and  expressing  their  readiness  to  co-operate  in  what 
might  further  be  proposed  for  the  common  securitj'  and  welfare  of 
the  Colonies. 

Bernard,  the  Eoyal  Governor  of  Massachusetts,  communicated  to 
Lord  Hillsborough,  the  Secretary  for  the  Colonies,  the  action  of  ihe 

178  Southwest  Virginia,  174G-178G. 

Massachusetts  Assembly;  whereupon,  his  lordship  directed  Gover- 
nor Bernard  to^  require  the  Massachusetts  Legislature,  (in  Ms 
Majest3''s  name,  to  rescind  their  action,  upon  the  penalty  O'f  being 
dissolved,  which  message  the  Governor  immediately  communicated 
to  the  Assembly,  whereupon,  the  Assembly  voted  not  to  rescind 
their  action,  tlie  vote  being  17  yeas  to  19  nays,  and  they  declared, 
"if  the  votes  of  the  House  are  to  be  controlled  by  the  direction  of 
a  minister,  we  have  left  us  but  a  vain  semblance  of  liberty."  The 
Governor,  thereupon,  dissolved  the  House  according  to  his  threat, 
and  the  Governors  of  the  other  Colonies  dissolved  their  respective 
Assemblies  upon  their  refusing  to  rescind  their  action  endorsing 
the  Massachusetts  resolves. 

Lord  Hillsborough,  upon  the  receipt  of  this  information,  wrote 
to  General  Gage,  the  British  Commander  at  Boston,  that  at  least 
one  regiment  of  troop  would  be  sent  to  Boston  to  assist  in  preserving 
peace.  Upon  receipt  of  this  information,  a  meeting  was  held  by 
the  people  of  Boston,  and  a  committee  appointed  to  wait  upon 
the  Governor  and  request  him  to  call  the  Assembly  together. 
This  committee  waited  upon  the  Governor  and  presented  their 
request,  which  was  denied.  Thereupon,  it  was  determined  to  hold 
a  general  convention  in  the  city  of  Boston,  on  the  22d  of  September, 
and  all  the  towns  in  the  province  of  Massachusetts  were  requested 
to  send  and  did  send  delegates  to  this  Convention. 

The  Convention  met  at  Faneuil  Hall,  Boston,  and  adopted  sev- 
eral resolutions  and  adjourned.  Soon  thereafter,  two  reginients 
of  troops  landed  in  Boston  and,  by  direction  of  the  Governor,  were 
quartered  in  the  two  public  houses  of  the  city,  wliich  gave  great 
umbrage  to  the  people  and  produced  constant  difficulties  between 
the  citizens  and  the  soldiers. 

The  Colony  of  Massachusetts  was  in  open  rebellion  against  the 
British  Governor  and  the  Parliament.  At  a  meeting  of  the  British 
Parliament  in  the  year  1769,  a  measure  was  adopted  which  was 
intended  to  be  a  death  blow  to  the  liberties  of  the  Colonies.  This 
measure  directed  the  Governor  of  Massachusetts  to  ascertain  the 
nanues  of  all  persons  guilty  of  treason  or  misprisions  committed 
since  the  30th  day  of  December,  1767,  and  transmit  this  informa- 
tion to  one  of  the  Secretaries  of  State,  in  order  that  his  Majesty 
might  issue  a  special  commission  for  inquiring  of,  hearing  and 
determining  the  said  offences  within  the  realm  of  Great  Britain. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  179 

Heretofore,  the  offending  Americans  had  been  tried  by  a  jury  of 
their  own  countrymen,  upon  all  the  charges  that  were  preferred 
by  the  royal  government,  and,  as  a  general  rule,  acquitted,  but 
now  the  British  Parliament  proposed  to  have  them  arrested  and 
transported  across  the  seas  for  trial  in  England.  The  Virginia 
House  of  Burgesses  assembled  a  few  days  after  the  receipt  of  this 
information  and  adopted  a  series  of  resolutions,  "declaring  their 
exclusive  right  to  tax  their  constituents  and  to  petition  the  Sover- 
eign, either  separately  or  conjointly  with  the  other  Colonies,  and 
affirming  that  the  seizing  of  any  person  residing  in  the  said  Colony, 
suspected  of  any  crime  whatsoever  committed  therein,  and  sending 
such  persons  beyond  the  seas  to  be  tried  was  highly  derogatory 
to  the  rights  of  British  subjects."  These  resolutions  were  pre- 
sented l)e]iind  dosed  doors  for  the  purpose^of  preventing  the  royal 
Governor  fi'om  dissolving  the  Assembly  before  their  adoption.  The 
example  of  Virginia  was  followed  by  the  Assemblies  of  the  several 

In  the  fall  of  the  year  1769,  Lord  Hillsborough,  the  British 
Secretary  for  the  Colonies,  addressed  a  circular  letter  to  the  Gov- 
ernors of  all  the  Colonies,  informing  them  that,  at  the  next  session 
of  Parliament,  the  duty  upon  glass,  paper  and  painters'  colors 
would  be  removed. 

The  next  session  of  the  British  Parliament  convened  on  the  9th 
day  of  January,  1770,  and,  on  the  22d  'day  of  February,  the 
Marquis  of  Rockingham  introduced  the  subject  of  the  repeal  of 
tliese  onerous  duties,  in  the  following  manner.  He  said,  "That 
the  present  unhappy  condition  of  affairs  and  the  universal  discon- 
tent of  the  people  did  not  arise  from  any  immediate  temporary 
cause,  biit  had  grown  upon  the  nation  by  degrees  from  t]^e  moment 
of  his  Majesty's  accession  to  the  throne;  that  a  total  change  had 
then  taken  place  in  the  old  system  of  English,  government  and  a 
new  maxim  adopted  fatal  to  the  liberties  of  the  coimtry,  viz.,  that 
the  royal  prerogative  alone  was  sufficient  to  support  government, 
to  whatever  hands  the  administration  should  be  committed."  "The 
operation  of  this  principle,"  said  his  lordship,  "can  be  ti-aced 
through  every  act  of  government  during  the  present  reign,  in 
which  his  Majesty's  secret  advisers  could  be  supposed  to  have  any 
influence.  He  recommended,  therefore,  strongly  to  their  lordships 
to  fix  an  early  day  for  taking  into  consideration  the  state  of  the 

180  Southwest  Virginia,  17 46-17 S6. 

country  hi  all  its  relations  and  dependencies,  foreign,  provincial 
and  doniestick,  for  we  had  been  injured  in  them  all.  That 
consideration,  he  trusted,  would  lead  their  Lordships  to  advise  the 
Crown,  not  only  how  to  correct  past  errors,  but  how  to  establish 
a  system  of  government  more  wise,  more  permanent,  better  suited 
to  the  genius  of  the  people  and  consistent  with  the  spirit  of  the 

Before  a  vote  was  reached  upon  this  motion,  the  Duke  of  Grafton 
resigned  the  office  of  first  Lord  Commissioner  of  the  Treasury  and 
was  succeeded  l)y  Lord  North,  who  remained  at  the  head  of  the 
administration  until  the  close  of  the  American  Revolution. 

Among  the  first  acts  of  Lord  North's  administration  was  one 
for  the  repeal  of  the  port  duties  fixed  by  the  act  of  1767,  with  one 
exception,  that  being  the  duty  on  tea,  "which  the  British  Ministry 
desired  to  remain  in  force,  as  an  evidence  of  the  supremacy  of  the 
Parliament."  It  was  argued  by  tlie  friends  of  the  repeal  of  the 
port  duties,  that  to  retain  the  duty  on  tea  would  simply  continue 
the  agitation  and  increase  the  disturbance  in  the  Colonies  without 
accomplishing  any  good  results.  To  such  arguments,  Jjord  North 
answered,  "Has  the  repeal  of  the  Stamp  Act  taught  the  Americans 
obedience?  Has  our  lenity  inspired  them  with  moderation? 
Can  it  be  proper,  while  they  deny  our  legal  power  to 
tax  them,  to  acquiesce  in  tlie  argument  of  illegality  and,  by  the 
repeal  of  the  whole  law,  to  give  up  that  power  ?  No !  the  proper 
time  to  exert  oiir  right  to  taxation  is  when  the  right  is  refused. 
To  temporize  is  to  yield,  and  the  autlwrity  of  the  mother  country, 
if  it  is  now  unsupported,  will  in  reality  be  relinquished  for  ever. 

"A  total  repeal/'  he  continued,  "cannot  he  thovght  of  till  America 

It  seems  peculiar  that  the  English  ministry  should  have  been  so 
short  sighted  as  to  thus  insult  the  American  Colonies,  at  the  same 
time  that  they  were  making  to  them  great  concessions  with  the 
avowed  purpose  of  restoring  the  Colonies  to  peace  and  quietude. 
While  the  British  Government  lost  the  benefit  of  the  import  duties 
by  the  repeal  of  the  act  of  1767,  still,  by  the  retention  of  the  duty 
on  tea,  the  cause  of  the  discontent  in  the  Colonies  remained.  The 
insult  offered  to  the  Colonists  by  Lord  North  in  his  speech,  and  the 
presence  of  the  King's  troops  in  the  province  of  Massachusetts  and 
New  Yo7-k,  kept  up  the  agitation  in  the  Colonies,  producing  mob- 

Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  181 

violence  at  many  places.  In  the  city  of  Boston  a  difficulty  occurred 
between  one  of  the  King's  soldiers  and  a  citizen  of  the  town,  which 
resulted  in  the  defeat  of  the  soldier.  He  obtaining  the  assistance 
of  a  few  of  his  comrades,  the  contest  between  the  citizens  and  the 
soldiers  became  general,  and  the  citizens,  assembling  in  great 
numbers,  compelled  Governor  Hutchinson  to  remove  the  soldiers 
immediately  from  the  town.  Similar  difficulties  occurred  in  New 
York  and  in  Ehode  Island.  Thus  matters  continued  until  the 
12th  of  March,  1773,  when  Dabney  Carr,  a  member  of  the  House 
of  Burgesses  of  Virginia,  introduced  the  following  resolutions  in 
the  House  of  Burgesses;  which  resolutions  were  adopted  without  a 
dissenting  voice. 

"Whereas  the  minds  of  his  Majesty's  faithful  subjects  in  this 
Colony  have  been  much  disturbed  by  various  rumours  and  reports 
of  proceedings,  tending  to  deprive  them  of  their  ancient  legal  and 
constitutional  rights ; 

^And  whereas  the  affairs  of  this  Colony  are  frequently  con- 
nected with  those  of  Great  Britain,  as  well  as  the  neighboring 
Colonies,  which  renders  a  communication  of  sentiment  necessary. 
In  order,  therefore,  to  remove  the  uneasiness  and  to  quiet  tho 
minds  of  the  people,  as  well  as  for  the  other  good  purposes  above 

"Be  it  resolved,  that  a  standing  committee  of  correspondence 
and  inquiry  be  appointed,  to  consist  of  eleven  persons,  to-wit: 
the  honorable  Peyton  Eandolph,  esquire,  Eobept  C.  Nicholas, 
Eichard  Bland,  Eichard  H.  Lee,  Benjamin  Harrison,  Edmund 
Pendleton,  Patrick  Henry,  Dudley  Digges,  Dabney  Carr,  Archibald 
Cary  and  Thomas  Jefferson,  esquires,  any  six  of  whom  to  be  a 
committee,  whose  business  it  shall  be  to  obtain  the  most  early  and 
authentic  intelligence  of  all  such  acts  and  resolutions  of  the  British 
Parliament  or  proceedings  of  administration  as  may  relate  to,  or 
affect  the  British  Colonies  in  America;  and  to  keep  up  and  main- 
tain a  correspondence  and  communication  with  our  sister  Colonies, 
respecting  these  important  considerations ;  and  the  result  of  such 
their  proceedings,  from  time  to  time  to  lay  before  this   House. 

'Resolved,  That  it  be  an  instruction  to  the  said  committee  that 
they  do,  without  delay,  inform  themselves  particularly  of  the 
principles  and  authority  on  which  was  constituted  a  court  of 
enquiry,   said   to   have  been  lately   held   in  Ehode   Island,   with 

183  Southwest  Virgima,  111^6-1786. 

powers  to  transport  persons  accused  of  offences  committed  in 
iVmerica  to  places  beyond  the  seas  to  be  tried. 

"Resolved,  That  the  Speaker  of  this  House  do  transmit  to  the 
Speakers  of  the  different  Assemblies  of  the  British  Colonies  on  the 
Continent,  copies  of  the  said  resolutions,  and  desire  that  they  will 
lay  them  before  their  respective  Assemblies,  and  request  them  to 
appoint  some  person  or  persons  of  their  respective  bodies  tO'  com- 
municate, from  time  to  time,  with  the  said  committee." 

The  retention  of  the  duty  on  tea  and  the  action  of  the  different 
Colonies  in  entering  into  an  agreement  neither  to  buy  nor  to  sell, 
nor  pay  any  duty  upon  teas  imported  into  the  Colonies,  had  been 
so  rigidly  observed  that  the  East  India  Company  suffered  great 
inconvenience  from  the  accumulation  of  their  stock  and  the  refusal 
of  the  American  Colonists  to  purchase;  and,  to  remedy  this  state 
of  affairs,  this  company  proposed  to  the  British  Parliament  to  pay 
double  the  amount  of  tlie  import  duties  on  tea  if  the  Parliament 
would  repeal  the  duties,  but  the  object  of  the  Parliament  not  being 
the  collection  of  a  revenue,  but  the  subjection  of  the  American 
Colonies,  the  offer  of  the  East  India  Company  remained  unac- 
cepted, and  the  oppression  of  the  American  Colonies  continued 
until  it  was  evident  that  the  American  people  had  determined  to  be 
free.  After  some  time  an  act  was  passed  by  the  British  Parliament 
allovidng  the  East  India  Company  to  export  their  teas  to  America 
free  of  duty,  after  which,  large  quantities  of  tea  were  shipped  by 
the  company  to  Boston,  New  York,  Philadelphia  and  Charleston. 

As  soon  as  the  Americans  heard  of  the  repeal  of  the  duty  on  tea 
and  the  shipments  made  by  the  East  Indian  Company,  they  deter- 
mined that  the  tea  should  never  be  disposed  of  in  America.  When 
the  ships  bearing  this  tea  arrived  at  the  American  ports,  they  were 
compelled  to  return  immediately  without  unloading  their  cargo. 

In  the  city  of  Boston  a  scene  of  great  disorder  prevailed.  The 
captain  of  the  vessel  carrying  the  tea  made  an  application  to  the 
Governor  for  the  papers  necessary  to  enable  him  to  return  to 
England  without  unloading,  which  request  the  Governor  positively 
refused  to  comply  with.  Of  this  action  the  people  were  informed, 
and,  thereupon,  a  number,  disguising  themselves  as  Mohawk 
Indians,  boarded  the  ship,  took  out  three  hundred  and  forty-two 
chests  of  tea  and  emptied  their  contents  into  the  water.  It  was 
thought  that  this  occurrence  would  precipitate  the  war  between  the 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  183 

Colonies  and  England,  but  such  was  not  the  case.  Upon  the  receipt 
of  the  news  of  the  destruction  of  the  tea,  Lord  North  introduced 
a  bill  for  the  closing  of  the  port  of  Boston.  The  Constitution  and 
('barter  of  the  province  of  Massachusetts  were  taken  out  of  the 
hands  of  the  people  and  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  king,  and  all 
the  officers  of  the  Colony  were  made  dependent  upon  the  king. 
A  bill  was  also  passed  levying  a  fine  upon  the  city  of  Boston  to 
compensate  the  East  India  Company  for  the  tea  destroyed,  and 
another  law  was  enacted  providing  that  any  of  the  king-'s  officers, 
charged  with  the  commission  of  murder  in  the  execution  of  their 
duties  in  the  Colonies,  should  be  brought  to  England  for  trial.  All 
of  the  foregoing  bills  had  been  passed  and  received  the  royal  assent 
by  the  20th  day  of  May,  1774. 

The  consideration  of  these  measures  by  the  House  of  Commons 
produced  a  long  and  heated  debate,  during  which  Colonel  Barre, 
who  had  on  a  previous  occasion  ably  defended  the  Colonies,  con- 
cluded an  able  and  patriotic  speech  in  opposition  to  these  measures 
in  these  words :  "Yon  have  changed  your  ground.  You  are  becom- 
ing the  aggressors,  and  offering  the  last  of  human  outrages  to  the 
jjpople  of  America,  by  subjecting  them,  in  effect,  to  military  execu- 
tion. Instead  of  sending  them  the  olive  branch,  you  have  sent  them 
the  naked  sword.  By  the  olive  branch  I  mean  a  repeal  of  all  the 
late  laivs,  fruitless  to  you  and  oppressive  to  them.  Ask  their  aid 
in  a  constitutional  manner,  and  they  will  give  it  to  the  utmost  of 
their  ability.  They  never  yet- refused  it,  when  properly  required. 
Your  journals  bear  the  recorded  acknowledgments  of  the  zeal  with 
which  they  have  contributed  to  the  general  necessities  of  the  State. 
What  madness  is  it  that  prompts  you  to  attempt  obtaining  that  hy 
force,  which  you  may  more  certainly  procure  by  requisition.  They 
may  he  flattered  into  anything,  but  they  are  too  much  like  your- 
selves to  he  driven.  Have  some  indulgence  for  your  own  likeness, 
respect  their  sturdy  English  virtue,  retract  your  odious  exertions 
of  authority,  and  remember  that  the  first  step  towards  making  them 
contribute  to  your  wants  is  to  reconcile  them  to  your  government." 

At  the  same  time  William  Pitt,  now  Lord  Chatham,  gave  the 
House  of  Lords  his  views  upon  the  bills  proposed  and  the  condition 
of  American  affairs,  in  the  following  words: 

"If,  my  Lords,  we  take  a  transient  view  of  those  motives  which 
induced  the  ancestors  of  our  fellow  subjects  in  America  to  leave 

184  Southwest  Virginia,  17JiG-178G. 

tlioir  native  country,  to  encounter  the  innumerable  diflSculties  of  the 
unexplored  regions  of  the  western  world,  our  astonishment  at  the 
present  conduct  of  their  descendants  will  naturally  subside.  There 
was  no  corner  of  the  globe  to  which  they  would  not  have  fled,  rather 
than  submit  to  the  slavish  and  tyrannical  spirit  which  prevailed 
at  that  period  in  their  native  country ;  and  viewing  them  in  their 
original  forlorn  and  now  flourishing  state,  they  may  be  cited  as 
illustrious  instances  to  instruct  the  world  what  great  exertions  man- 
kind will  naturally  make,  when  left  to  the  free  exercise  ol  their 
own  powers.  Notwithstanding  my  intention  to  give  my  hearty 
negative  to  the  question  now  before  you,  I  condemn,  my  Lords,  in 
the  severest  manner,  the  turbulent  and  unwarrantable  conduct  of 
of  the  Americans,  in  some  instances,  particularly  in  the  late  riots 
at  Boston,  but,  my  Lords,  the  mode  which  has  been  pursued  to 
bring  them  back  to  a  sense  ol  their  duty  is  so  diametrically  oppo- 
site to  every  principle  of  sound  policy,  as  to  excite  my  utmost 
astonishment.  You  have  involved  the  guilty  and  the  innocent  in 
one  common  punisliment,  and  avenge  the  crime  of  a  few  lawless 
depredators  upon  the  whole  body  of  the  inhabitants.  My  Lords, 
the  different  provinces  of  America,  in  the  excess  of  their  gratitude 
for  the  repeal  of  the  Stamp  Act.  seemed  to  vie  with  each  otlier  in 
the  expressions  of  loyalty  and  duty;  but  the  moment  they  per- 
ceived that  your  intention  to  tax  them  was  renewed,  under  a  pre- 
tense of  serving  the  East  India  Company,  their  resentment  got  tlie 
ascendant  of  their  moderation  and  hurried  them  into  actions  which 
their  cool  reason  would  abhor.  But,  my  Lords,  from  the  whole 
complexion  of  the  late  proceedings,  I  cannot  but  incline  to  think, 
that  the  administration  has  purposely  irritated  them  into  these 
violent  acts,  in  order  to  gratify  their  own  malice  and  revenge. 
What  else  could  induce  them  to  dress  Taxation,  the  Father  of 
American  Sedition,  in  the  robes  of  an  East  India  Director,  but  to 
break  in  upon  that  mutual  peace  and  harmony  which  then  so  hap- 
pily subsisted  between  the  Colonies  and  the  mother  county.  My 
Lords,  it  has  always  been  my  fixed  and  unalterable  opinion,  and  I 
will  carry  it  with  me  to  the  grave,  that  this  country  had  no  right 
under  heaven  to  tax  America.  It  is  contrary  tO'  all  the  principles 
of  justice  and  civil  policy;  it  is  contrary  to  that  essential,  unalter- 
able right  in  nature,  ingrafted  into  the  British  Constitution  as  a 
fundamental  law,  that  what  a  man  has  honestly  acquired  is  abso- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1740-1786.  185 

lutely  his  own,  which  he  may  freely  give,  but  which  cannot  be 
taken  away  from  him  without  his  consent.  Pass  then,  my  Lords, 
instead  of  these  harsh  and  severe  edicts,  an  amnesty  over  their 
errours;  by  mea.sures  of  lenity  and  affection  allure  them  to  their 
duty;  act  the  pavt  of  a  generous,  forgiving  parent.  A  period  may 
arrive,  when  this  parent  may  stand  in  need  of  every  assistance  she 
can  receive  from  a  grateful  and  affectionate  offspring.  The  welfare 
of  this  country,  my  Lords,  has  ever  been  my  greatest  joy,  and, 
under  all  the  vicissitudes  of  my  life,  ha,s  afforded  me  the  most 
pleasing  consolation.  Should  the  all-disposing  hand  of  Providence 
prevent  me  from  contributing  my  poor  and  feeble  aid  in  the  day 
of  her  distress,  my  prayers  shall  be  ever  for  her  prosperity ;  "Length 
of  days  be  in  her  right  hand,  and  in  her  left  hand  riches  and  honor ! 
May  her  ways  be  ways  of  pleasantness,  and  all  her  paths  be  peace !" 

The  Legislature  of  Virginia  was  in  session  when  the  Boston 
Port  Bill  arrived,  and  their  sense  of  it  was  imauediately  expressed 
by  the  following  order :  "This  House,  being  deeply  impressed  with 
apprehension  of  the  great  dangers  to  be  derived  to  British  America 
from  the  hostile  invasion  of  the  city  of  Boston,  in  our  sister  Colony 
of  Massachusetts  Bay,  whose  commerce  and  harbour  are,  on  the 
1st  day  of  June  next,  to  be  stopped  by  an  armed  force,  deem  it 
highly  necessary  that  the  said  1st  day  of  June  next  be  set  apart  l)y 
the  members  of  this  House  as  a  day  of  fasting,  humiliation  and 
prayer,  devoutly  to  implore  the  divine  interposition  for  averting  the 
heavy  calamity  which  threatens  destruction  to  our  civil  rights  and 
the  evils  of  civil  war;  to  give  us  one  heart  and  one  mind,  firmly  to 
oppose,  by  all  just  and  proper  means,  every  injury  to  American 
rights;  and  that  the  minds  of  his  Majesty  and  Parliament  may  be 
inspired  from  above  with  wisdom,  moderation  and  justice,  to 
remove  from  the  loyal  people  of  America  all  cause  of  danger,  from 
a  continued  pursuit  of  measures  pregnant  with  their  ruin. 

^^Ordered,  therefore.  That  the  members  of  this  House  do  attend 
at  their  places  at  the  hour  of  ten  in  the  forenoon,  on  the  said  1st  day 
of  June  next,  in  order  to  proceed  with  the  Speaker  and  the  Mace,  to 
the  church  in  this  city,  for  the  purposes  aforesaid ;  and  that  the 
reverend  Mr.  Price  be  appointed  to  read  prayers  and  to  preach  a 
sermon  suitable  to  the  occasion." 

Lord  Dunmore,  the  Governor  of  the  Virginia  Colony  at  that 
time,  immediately  upon  the  receipt  of  the  information  as  to  the 

186  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

action  taken  by  the  Virginia  House  of  Burgesses,  dissolved  tlie 
House.  But  the  patriotic  Virginians  were  not  to  be  thus  deprived 
ol  their  right  to  speak  their  sentiments;  for  on  the  following  day, 
eighty-nine  members  formed  an  association  and  adopted  the  fol- 
lowing resolutions : 

"We,  his  Majesty's  most  duiifid  and  loyal  suhjects,  the  late  repre- 
sentatives of  the  good  people  of  this  Colony,  having  been  deprived, 
by  the  sudden  interposition  of  the  executive  part  of  this  government, 
from  giving  our  countrymen  the  advice  we  wished  to  convey  to 
them  in  a  legislative  capacity,  find  ourselves  under  the  hard  neces- 
sity of  adopting  this,  tlie  only  method  we  have  left,  of  pointing  out 
to  our  countrymen,  such  measures  as,  in  our  opinion,  are  best 
fitted  to  secure  our  dear  rights  and  liberty  from  destruction  by  the 
heavy  hand  of  power  now  lifted  against  JSTorth  America.  With 
much  grief  we  find  that  our  dutiful  applications  to  Great  Britain 
for  the  security  of  our  just,  ancient  and  constitutional  rights,  have 
not  only  been  disregarded,  but  that  a  determined  system  is  formed 
and  pursued  for  reducing  the  inhabitants  of  British  America  to 
slavery,  by  subjecting  them  to  the  payment  of  taxes  imposed  with- 
out the  consent  of  the  people  or  their  representatives;  and  that, 
in  pursuit  of  this  system,  we  find  an  Act  of  the  British  Parliament, 
lately  passed,  for  stopping  the  harbour  and  the  commerce  of  the 
town  of  Boston,  in  our  sister  Colony  of  Massachusetts  Bay,  until 
the  people  there  submit  to  the  payment  of  such  unconstitutional 
taxes;  and  which  Act  most  violently  and  arbitrarily  deprives  them 
of  their  property,  in  Avharves  "erected  by  private  persons,  at  their 
own  great  and  proper  expense,  which  Act  is,  in  our  opinion,  a  most 
dangerous  attempt  to  destroy  the  constitutional  liberty  and  rights 
of  all  North  America.  It  is  further  our  opinion,  that  as  tea,  on  its 
importation  to  America,  is  charged  with  a  duty  imposed  by  Par- 
liament for  the  purpose  of  raising  a  revenue  without  the  consent 
oi  the  people,  it  ought  not  to  be  used  by  any  person  who  wishes  well 
to  the  constitutional  rights  and  liberties  of  British  America.  And 
whereas,  the  India  Company  have  ungenerously  attempted  to  ruin 
America,  by  sending  many  ships  loaded  with  tea  into  the  Colonies, 
thereby  intending  to  fix  a  pi-ecedent  in  favour  of  arbitrary  taxation, 
we  deem  it  highly  proper,  and  do  accordingly  recommend  it  strongly 
to  our  countrymen,  not  to  purchase  or  use  any  kind  of  East  India 
commodity  whatsoever,  except  salt-petre  and  spices,  until  the  griev- 

Southwest  Virginia,  17J,6-1786.  187 

ances  of  America  are  redressed.  We  are  further  clearly  of  opinion, 
that  an  attack  made  upon  one  of  onr  sister  Colonies,  tO'  compel 
submission  to  arbitrary  taxes,  is  an  attack  mad©  on  all  British 
America,  and  threatents  ruin  to  the  rights  of  all,  unless  the  united 
wisdom  of  the  whole  he  applied.  And  for  this  purpose  it  is  recom- 
mended to  the  coanmittee  of  correspondence,  that  they  communi- 
cate with  their  several  corresponding  committees,  on  the  expedi- 
ency of  appointing  deputies  from  the  several  Colonies  of  British 
America,  to  meet  in  General  Congress,  at  such  a  place  annually  as 
shall  be  thought  most  convenient;  there  to  deliberate  on  those  gen- 
eral measures  which  the  united  interest  of  America  may,  from  time 
to  timCy-  require. 

"A  tender  regard  for  the  interest  of  our  fellow-subjects,  the 
merchants  and  manufacturers  of  Great  Britain,  prevents  us  from 
going  further  at  this  time ;  most  earnestly  hoping  that  the  un- 
constitutional principle  of  taxing  the  Colonies  without  their  con- 
sent will  not  be  persisted  in,  thereby  to  compel  us  against  our  will, 
to  avoid  all  commercial  intercourse  with  Great  Britain.  Wishing 
them  and  our  people  free  and  happy,  we  are  their  affectionate 
friends,  the  late  representatives  of  Virginia." 

This  association  was  formed  on  the  27th  day  of  May,  1774,  and 
Stephen  Trigg  and  William  Christian,  the  representatives  O'f  Fin- 
castle  county,  in  the  Virginia  House  of  Burgesses,  were  members 
of  this  association. 

Virginia  had  not  suffered  from  the  acts  of  the  British.  Parlia- 
ment as  had  the  colonies  of  New  York,  Massachusetts,  and  Rhode 
Island,  but  her  statesmen  of  those  days  were  actuated  by  princi- 
ples that  they  loved  and  cherished,  and,  with  a  political  wisdom 
which  should  be  the  admiration  of  all  the  citizens  of  Virginia, 
they  were  always  ready  and  willing  to  resist  any  encroachment 
upon  those  principles,  whether  the  encroachments  were  made  in 
their  own  home  or  in  the  sister  colonies. 

The  1st  day  of  June,  1774,  was  observed  in  most  of  the  colo- 
nies as  a  day  of  fasting  and  prayer,  and  in  Virginia  all  business 
was  suspended,  and  the  citizens  bore  a  dejected  aspect,  but  were 
contemplating  a  brighter  day,  when  their  sorrow  would  be  turned 
to  joy. 

On  the  17th  day  of  June,  1774,  the  Legislature  of  the  Massa- 
chusetts Colony  adopted  a  resolution  calling  a  Congress  of  the  rep- 

188  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

resentatives  of  the  colonies  at  Philadelphia  on  the  5th  day  of 
September,  1774.  The  royal  Governor  of  Massachusetts  imme- 
diately dissolved  the  Legislature  as  a  punishment. 

In  Virginia  the  representatives  of  the  several  counties  met  at 
Williamsburg  on  August  1,  1774,  and  adopted  the  following  reso- 
lutions, which  fitly  expressed  the  sentiments  of  the  people  of  Vir- 
ginia : 

"The  unhappy  disputes  between  Great  Britain  and  her  Ameri- 
can colonies,  which  began  about  the  third  year  of  the  reign  of  his 
present  Majesty  and  since  continually  increasing,  have  proceeded 
to  lengths  so  dangerous  and  alarming  as  to  excite  just  apprehen- 
sions in  the  minds  of  his  Majesty's  faithful  subjects  of  the  Colony 
that  they  are  in  danger  of  being  deprived  of  their  natural,  an- 
cient constitutional  and  chartered  rights,  and  have  cjompelled 
them  to  take  the  same  into  their  most  serious  consideration;  and 
being  deprived  of  their  usual  and  accustomed  mode  of  making 
known  their  grievances,  have  appointed  us,  their  represen- 
tatives, to  consider  what  is  proper  to  be  done  in  this  dangerous 
crisis  of  American  affairs.  It  being  our  opinion,  that  the  united 
wisdom  of  North  America  should  be  collected  in  a  general  Con- 
gress of  all  the  Colonies,  we  have  appointed  the  following  gen- 
tlemen as  deputies  to  represent  this  Colony  in  the  said  Congress, 
to  be  held  at  Philadelphia,  on  the  first  Monday  in  September 
next,  viz.,  Peyton  Eandolph,  Eichard  Henry  Lee,  George  Wash- 
ington, Patrick  Henry,  Eichard  Bland,  Benjamin  Harrison  and 
Edmund  Pendleton. — and  that  they  may  be  the  better  informed 
of  our  sentiments  touching  the  conduct  we  wish  them  to  observe 
on  this  important  occasion,  we  desire  that  they  Avill  express,  in  the 
first  place,  our  faith  and  our  allegiance  to  his  Majesty  King  George 
the  third,  our  lawful  and  rightful  sovereign;  and  that  we  are  de- 
termined, with  our  lives  and  fortunes,  to  support  him  in  the  le- 
gal exercise  of  all  his  just  rights  and  prerogatives.  And,  however, 
misrepresented,  we  sincerely  approve  of  a  constitutional  connexion 
with  Great  Britain,  and  wish  most  ardently  a  return  of  that  inter- 
course O'f  affection  and  commercial  connexion  that  formerly  united 
both  countries;  which  can  only  be  effected  by  a  removal  of  those 
causes  of  discontent  which  have  of  late  unhappily  divided  us. 

"It  cannot  admit  of  a  doubt  that  British  subjects  in  America 
are  entitled  to  the  same  rights  and  privileges  as  their  fellow  sub- 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  189 

jects  possess  in  Britain,  and  therefore  tliat  the  power  as- 
sumed by  the  British  Parliament  to  bind  America  by  their  statutes, 
in  all  cases  whatsoever,  is  unconstitutional  and  the  source  of  these 
unhappy  differences. 

"The  end  of  government  would  be  defeated  by  the  British  Par- 
liament exercising  a  power  over  the  lives,  the  property  and  the 
liberty  of  American  subjects,  who  are  not  and,  from  their  local 
circumstances,  cannot  be,  there  represented.  Of  this  nature  we 
consider  the  several  Acts  of  Parliament  for  raising  a  revenue  in 
America,  for  extending  the  jurisdiction  of  the  courts  of  Admiralty, 
for  seizing  American  subjects  and  transporting  them  to  Britain 
to  be  tried  for  crimes  committed  in  America,  and  the  several  late 
oppressive  Acts  respecting  the  town  of  Boston  and  Province  of 
Massachusetts  Bay. 

"The  original  constitution  of  the  American  Colonies  possessing 
their  assemblies  with  the  sole  right  of  directing  their  internal 
policy,  it  is  absolutely  destructive  to  the  end  of  their  institution 
that  their  legislatures  should  be  suspended,  or  prevented  by  hasty 
dissolutions,  from  exercising  their  legislative  powers. 

"Wanting  the  protection  of  Britain,  we  have  long  acquiesced  in 
their  Acts  of  navigation,  restrictive  of  our  commerce,  which  we 
consider  as  an  ample  recompense  for  such  protection,  but  as  those 
Acts  derive  their  efficacy  from  that  foundation  alone,  we  have 
reason  to  expect  they  will  be  restrained,  so  as  to  produce  the  rea- 
sonable purposes  of  Britain  and  not  be  injurious  to  us. 

"To  obtain  redress  of  these  grievances,  without  which  the  peo- 
ple of  America  can  neither  be  safe,  free,  nor  happy,  they  are  will- 
ing to  undergo  the  great  inconvenience  that  will  be  derived  to  them 
from  stopping  all  imports  whatsoever  from  Great  Britain  after 
the  first  day  of  November  next,  and  also  to  cease  exporting 
any  commodity  whatsoever  to  the  same  place,  after  the  10th  day 
of  August,  1775.  The  earnest  desire  we  have  to  make  as  quick  and 
full  payment  as  possible  of  our  debts  to  Great  Britain,  and  to  avoid 
the  heavy  injury  that  would  arise  tO'  this  country  from  an  earlier 
adoption  of  the  non-importation  plan,  after  the  people  have  al- 
ready applied  so  much  of  their  labor  to  the  perfecting  of  the  pres- 
ent crop,  by  which  means  they  have  been  prevented  from  pursuing 
other  methods  of  clothing  and  supporting  their  families,  has  ren- 
dered it  necessary  to  restrain  you  in  this  article  of  non-exporta- 

190  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

tion ;  but  it  is  our  desire  that  you  cordially  co-operate  with  our 
sister  Colonies  in  general  Congress,  in  such  other  just  and  proper 
methods,  as  they,  or  the  majority,  shall  deem  necessary  for  the 
accomplishment  of  these  valuable  ends.  *■ 

"The  proclamation  issued  by  General  Gage,  in  tlie  government  of 
the  Province  of  Massachusetts  Bay,  declaring  it  treason  for  the 
inhabitants  of  that  Province  to  assemble  themselves  to  consider  O'f 
their  grievances  and  to  form  associations  for  their  common  conduct 
on  the  occasion,  and  requiring  the  civil  magistrates  and  officers  to 
apprehend  all  such  persons  to  be  tried  for  their  supposed  offences, 
is  the  most  alarming  process  that  ever  appeared  in  a  British  Gov- 
ernment; the  said  General  Gage  has  thereby  assumed  and  taken 
upon  himself  powers  denied  by  the  constitution  to  our  legal  Sover- 
eign. He  not  having  condescended  to  disclose  by  what  authority 
he  exercises  such  extensive  and  unlieard  of  powers,  we  are  at  a 
loss  to  determine  whether  he  intends  to  justify  himself  as  the  rep- 
representative  of  the  King,  or  as  the  Commander  in  Chief  of  his 
Majesty's  forces  in  America.  If  he  considers  himself  as  acting 
in  the  character  of  his  Majesty's  representative,  we  would  remind 
him  that  the  statute  20th,  Edward  III.,  has  expressed  and  defined 
all  treasonable  O'ffences,  and  that  the  Legislature  of  Great  Britain 
hath  declared  that  no  offence  shall  be  construed  to  be  treason  but 
such  as  is  pointed  out  by  that  statute;  and  that  this  was  done  to 
taike  out  of  the  hands  of  tyrannical  Kings,  and  of  weak  and  wicked 
Ministers,  that  deadly  weapon  which  constructive  treason  had 
furnished  them  with,  and  which  had  drawn  the  blood  of  the  best 
and  honestest  men  in  the  kingdom,  and  that  the  King  of  Great 
Britain  hath  no  right  by  his  proclamation  to  subject  his  people  to 
imprisonment,  pains,  and  penalties. 

"Tliat  if  the  said  General  Gage  conceives  he  is  empowered  to 
act  in  this  manner,  as  the  Commander  in  Chief  of  his  Majesty's 
forces  in  America,  this  odioais  and  illegal  proclamation  must  be 
considered  as  a  plain  and  full  declaration  that  this  despotick  Vice- 
roy will  be  bound  by  no  law,  nor  regard  the  constitutional  rights 
of  his  Majesty's  subjects,  wherever  they  interfere  with  the  plans 
he  has  formed  for  oppressing  the  good  people  of  the  Massachusetts 
Bay;  and  therefore  that  the  executing,  or  attempting  to  execute 
such  proclamation,  will  justify  resistance  and  reprisal." 

All  of  the  American  colonies,  with  the  exception  of  Georgia, 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  191 

joined  iu  the  common  cause  and  sent  delegates  to  the  Philadel- 
phia Congress. 

The  second  Continental  Congress  of  the  American  colonies  as- 
sembled in  Philadelphia  on  September  5,  1774,  fifty-two  dele- 
gates from  twelve  colonies  present.  This  Congress  was  organized 
by  the  election  of  the  following  officers : 

President,  Peyton  Eandolph,  of  Virginia. 

Secretary,  Charles  Thompson,  of  Pennsylvania. 

Patrick  Henry,  of  Virginia,  was  the  first  member  of  this  Con- 
gress to  address  the  chair  upon  the  issues  which  had  brought  them 
together.  This  Congress  of  able  men  and  noble  patriots  occupied 
more  than  a  month's  time  in  serious  deliberation  before  anything 
of  importance  was  done.  On  the  8th  of  October,  1774  (two  days 
before  the  battle  at  Point  Pleasant)  they  adopted  the  following 
resolutions : 

"Resolved,  That  this  Congress  do  approve  of  the  opposition 
MADE  BY  THE  inhabitants  of  the  Massachusetts  Bay  to  the  exe- 
cution of  the  late  Acts  of  Parliament;  and  if  the  same  shall  be  at- 
tempted to  be  carried  into  execution  by  force,  in  such  case  all 
America  ought  to  support  them  in  their  opposition. 

"Resolved,  That  it  is  the  opinion  of  this  body,  that  the  removal 
of  the  people  of  Boston  into  the  country  would  be  not  only  ex- 
tremely difficult  in  the  execution,  but  so  important  in  its  conse- 
quences as  to  require  the  utmost  deliberation  before  it  is  adopted. 
But  in  case  the  provincial  meeting  of  that  Colony  shall  judge  it 
absolutely  necessary,  it  is  the  opinion  of  this  Congress,  that  all 
America  ought  to  contribute  towards  recompensing  them  for  the 
injury  they  may  thereby  sustain,  and  it  will  be  recommended  ac- 

"Resolved,  That  this  Congress  do  recommend  to  the  inhabitants 
of  the  Colony  of  Massachusetts  Bay  to  submit  to  a  suspension  of 
the  administration  of  justice,  when  it  cannot  be  procured  in  a  le- 
gal and  peaceable  manner,  under  the  rules  of  the  Charter  and  the 
laws  founded  thereon,  until  the  effects  of  onr  application  for  a  re- 
peal of  the  Acts,  by  which  their  Charter  rights  are  infringed,  are 

"Resolved,  unanimously.  That  every  person  or  persons  whoso- 
ever, who  shall  take,  accept,  or  act  under  any  commission  or  au- 
thority in  any  wise  derived  from  the  Act  passed  in  the  late  ses- 

192  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

sion  of  Parliament,  changing  the  form  of  Government  and  vio- 
lating the  charter  of  the  Province  of  Massachusetts  Bay,  ought  to 
be  held  in  detestation  and  abhorrence  by  all  good  men  and  con- 
sidered as  the  wicked  tools  of  that  despotism  which  is  preparing  to 
destroy  tliose  rights  which  God,  nature  and  compact  have  given 
to  America." 

On  the  14th,  Congress  agreed  upon  the  following  preamble  and 
resolutions : 

"Whereas,  since  the  close .  of  the  last  war,  the  British  Parlia- 
ment, claiming  a  power  of  right  to  bind  the  people  of  America  by 
statute,  in  all  cases  whatsoever,  hath  in  some  Acts  expressly  im- 
posed taxes  on  them,  and  on  other  various  pretences,  but  in  fact  for 
the  purpose  of  raising  a  revenue,  hath  imposed  rates  and  duties 
payable  in  these  Colonies,  established  a  board  of  commissioners 
with  unconstitutional  powers  and  extended  the  jurisdiction  of 
Courts  of  Admiralty,  not  only  for  collecting  the  said  duties,  but 
for  the  trial  of  causes  merely  arising  within  the  body  of  a  county. 
And  whereas,  in  consequence  of  other  statutes,  judges,  who  before 
held  only  estates  at  will  in  their  offices,  have  been  made  dependent 
on  the  CroAvn  alone  for  their  salaries,  and  standing  armies  kept  in 
time  of  peace.  And  it  has  lately  been  resolved  in  Parliament,  that 
by  force  of  a  statute  made  in  the  35th  Henry  VIII,  colonists  may 
be  transported  to  England  and  tried  there  upon  accusations  for 
treasons  and  misprisions,  or  concealment  of  treasons,  committed  in 
the  Colonies;  and,  by  a  late  statute,  such  trials  have  been  directed 
in  cases  therein  mentioned. 

"And  whereas,  in  the  late  session  of  Parliament,  three  statutes 
were  made,  one  entitled  'an  Act  to  discontinue  in  siich  manner 
and  for  such  time  as  are  therein  mentioned,  the  landing  and  dis- 
charging, lading  or  shipping  of  goods,  wares  and  merchandise,  at 
the  town  and  within  the  harbour  of  Boston,  in  the  Province  of 
Massachusetts  Bay,  in  North  America,'  another  entitled  'an  Act 
for  the  better  regulating  the  government  of  the  Province  of  Massa- 
chiisetts  Bay,  in  New  England,'  and  another  entitled  'an  Act  for 
the  impartial  administration  of  justice,  in  the  cases  of  persons 
questioned  for  any  act  done  by  them  in  the  execution  of  the  law, 
or  for  the  suppression  of  riots  and  tumults,  in  the  Province  of 
Massachusetts  Bay,  in  New  England,'  and  another  statute  was 
then  made  'for  making  more  effectual  provision  for  the  govern- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  193 

ment  of  the  Province  of  Quebec,  &c./  all  of  which  statutes  are 
impolitick,  unjust  and  cruel  as  well  as  unconstitutional,  and  miost 
dangerous  and  destructive  of  American  rights. 

"And  whereas,  Assemblies  have  been  frequently  dissolved,  con- 
trary to  the  rights  of  the  people,  when  they  attempted  to  deliberate 
on  grievances,  and  their  dutiful,  humble,  loyal,  and  reasonable  pe- 
titions to  tlie  cro'wn  for  redress  have  been  repeatedly  treated  with 
contempt  by  his  Majesty's  Ministers  of  State. 

"The  good  people  of  the  several  colonies  of  New  Hampshire, 
Massachusetts  Bay,  Ehode  Island  and  Providence  Plantations, 
Connecticut,  New  York,  New  Jersey,  Pennsylvania,  New  Castle, 
Kent  and  Sussex  on  Delaware,  Maryland  and  Virginia,  North 
Carolina  and  South  Carolina,  justly  alarmed  at  these  arbitrary 
proceedings  of  Parliament  and  the  Administration,  have  severally 
elected,  constituted  and  ajjpointed  deputies,  to  meet  and  sit  in 
general  Congress  in  the  City  of  Philadelphia,  in  order  to  obtain 
such  establishment  as  tliat  their  religion,  laws  and  liberties  may 
not  be  subverted :  Whereupon,  the  deputies  so  appointed  being  now 
assembled  in  a  full  and  free  representation  of  these  Colonies,  tak- 
ing into  their  most  serious  consideration  the  best  means  of  attain- 
ing the  ends  aforesaid,  do  in  the  first  place,  as  Englishmen,  their 
ancestors,  in  like  cases  have  usually  done,  for  asserting  and  vindi- 
cating their  rights  and  liberties,  DECLARE ; 

"That  the  inhabitants  of  the  English  Colonies  in  North  America, 
by  the  immutable  laws  of  nature,  the  principles  of  the  English 
Constitution  and  the  several  charters  of  compacts,  have  the  follow- 
ing RIGHTS. 

"Resolved,  nemine  contradicenie,  1st.  That  they  are  entitled  to 
life,  liberty  and  property;  and  they  have  never  ceded  to  any 
foreign  power  whatever,  a  right  to  dispose  of  either  without  their 

"Resolved,  71.  c.  3nd.  That  our  ancestors,  who  first  settled  these 
Colonies,  were  at  the  time  of  their  emigration  from  the  mother 
country,  entitled  to  all  the  rights,  liberties  and  immunities  of  free 
and  natural  born  subjects  within  the  realms  of  England. 

"Resolved,  n.  c.  3rd.  That  by  such  emigration  they  by  no  means 

forfeited,  surrendered,  or  lost  any  of  those  rights,  but  that  they 

.were,  and  their  descendants  now  are,  entitled  to  tlie  exercise  and 

194  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

enjoyment  of  all  sncli  of  them,  as  their  local  and  other  circum- 
stances enable  them  to  exercise  and  enjoy. 

"Resolved,  n.  c.  4.  That  the  foundation  of  English  liberty  and 
all  free  government  is  a  right  in  the  people  to  participate  in  their 
legislative  coimcil ;  and  as  the  '  English  Colonists  are  not  repre- 
sented, and  from  their  local  and  other  circumstances  cannot  pro- 
]ierly  be  represented  in  the  British  Parliament,  they  are  entitled 
to  a  free  and  exclusive  power  of  legislation  in  their  several  Pro- 
vincial Ijegislatures,  where  their  right  of  representation  alone  can 
be  pr(>served,  in  all  cases  of  taxation  and  internal  policy,  subject 
only  to  the  negative  of  their  Sovereign,  in  such  manner  as  has 
heretofore  been  accustomed ;  but  from  the  necessity  of  the  case 
and  a  regard  to  the  mutual  interests  of  both  countries,  we  cheer- 
fully consent  to  the  operation  of  such  acts  of  the  British  Parlia- 
ment as  are  bona  fide,  restrained  to  the  regulation  of  our  external 
commerce,  for  the  purpose  of  securing  the  commercial  advantages 
of  the  whole  empire  to  the  mother  country,  and  the  commercial 
])enefits  of  its  respective  members,  excluding  every  idea  of  taxation, 
internal  or  external,  for  raising  a  revenue  on  the  subjects  in 
America,  without  their  consent. 

"Eesolved,  n.  c.  5.  That  the  respective  Colonies  are  entitled  to 
the  common  law  of  England,  and  more  especially  to  the  great  and 
inestimable  privilege  of  being  tried  by  their  peers  of  the  vicinage 
according  to  the  course  ol  that  law. 

"Resolved,  n.  c.  6.  That  they  are  entitled  to  the  benefit  of  such 
of  the  English  statutes  as  existed  at  the  time  of  their  colonization, 
and  which  they  have,  by  experience,  respectively  found  to  be  appli- 
cable to  their  several  local  and  other  circumstances. 

"Resolved,  n.  r.  7.  That  these,  his  Majesty's  Colonies,  are  like- 
wise entitled  to  all  tlie  immunities  and  privileges  granted  and  con- 
firmed to  them  by  royal  charters,  or  secured  by  their  several  codes 
of  Provincial  laws. 

"Resolved,  7i.  c.  8.  That  they  have  a  right  peacably  to  assemble, 
consider  of  their  grievances,  and  petition  the  King;  and  that  all 
prosecutions,  prohibitory  proclamations,  and  commitments  for  the 
same  are  illegal. 

"Resolved,  n.  c.  9.  That  the  keeping  a  standing  army  in  any 
of  these  Colonies  in  times  of  peace,  without  the  consent  of  the 

Southwest  Virginia,  17JfG-17S0.  195 

Tjegislaturo  of  that  Colony  in  which  snch  army  is  kept,  is  against 
tlie  law. 

"Eesolved,  n.  c.  10.  It  is  indispensahly  necessary  to  good  gov- 
ernment, and  rendered  essential  l)y  the  English  constitution,  that 
the  constituent  branches  of  the  Tjegislature  be  independent  of  each 
other;  that,  therefore,  the  exercise  of  legislative  power  in  several 
Colonies  by  a  Council  a})pointed,  during  pleasure,  by  the  Crown 
is  unconstitutional,  dangerous  and  destructive  of  the  freedom  of 
American  legislation. 

All  and  each  of  which  the  aforesaid  deputies  in  behalf  of  them- 
selves and  their  constituents  do  claim,  demand,  and  insist  upon, 
as  their  indubitable  rights  and  liberties;  which  cannot  be  legally 
taken  from  them,  altered  or  abridged  by  any  power  whatsoever, 
without  their  own  consent,  by  their  representatives  in  their  several 
Provincial  Legislatures." 

And  upon  the  30th  day  of  October,  ITT-i,  they  agreed  upon  the  fol- 
lowing articles  of  association,  to  which  each  member  present  sub- 
scribed his  name. 

"First,  That  from  and  after  the  first  day  of  December  next, 
we  will  not  import  into  British  America  from  Great  Britain  and 
Ireland,  any  goods,  wares,  or  merchandize  whatsoever,  or  from  any 
other  place,  any  such  goods,  wares  or  marchandise,  as  shall  have 
been  exported  from  Great  Britain  or  Ireland,  nor  will  we,  after  that 
day  import  any  East  India  tea  from  any  part  of  the  world;  nor  any 
molasses,  syrups,  paneles,  coffee  or  pimento,  from  the  British 
plantations,  or  from  Dominica ;  nor  wines  from  Madeira,  or  the 
Western  Islands ;  nor  foreign  indigo. 

"Second,  That  we  will  neither  import,  nor  purchase  any  slave 
imported  after  the  first  day  of  Deceml)er  next;  after  which  time 
we  will  wholly  discontinue  the  slave  trade,  and  will  neither  be  con- 
cerned in  it  ourselves  nor  will  we  hire  our  vessels,  nor  sell  our  com- 
modities or  manufactures  to  those  who  are  concerned  in  it. 

"Third,  As  a  non-consum])tion  agreement  strictly  adhered  to 
will  1)0  an  effectual  security  for  the  observation  of  non-importa- 
tion, we,  as  above,  solemnly  agree  and  associate,  that,  from  this 
day,  we  will  not  purchase  or  use  any  tea  imported  on  account  of 
the  East  India  Company,  or  any  on  which  a  duty  hath  been  or 
sliall  he  paid,  and  from  and  after  the  first  day  of  March  next,  we 
will  not  purchase  or  use  any  East  India  tea  whatever,  nor  will  we. 

19G  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

nor  shall  any  person  for  or  imdor  us,  purchase  or  use,  any  of  those 
goods,  wares  or  merchandize  we  have  agreed  not  to  import,  which 
we  shall  know  or  have  cause  to  suspect,  were  imported  after  the 
first  day  of  December,  except  such  as  come  under  the  rules  and 
directions  of  the  tenth  article  hereinafter  mentioned. 

"Fourth,  The  earnest  desire  we  have  not  to  injure  our  fellow- 
subjects  in  Great  Britain,  Ireland  or  the  West  Indies,  induces  us 
to  suspend  non-exportation,  until  the  tenth  day  of  September 
1775,  at  which  time,  if  the  said  Acts  and  parts  of  Acts  of  the 
British  Parliament,  hereinafter  mentioned,  are  not  repealed,  we 
will  not,  directly  or  indirectly,  export  any  merchandize  or  com- 
modity whatsoever,  to  Great  Britain,  Ireland  or  the  West  Indies, 
except  via  Europe. 

"Fifth,  Such  as  are  merchants  and  use  the  British  and  Irish 
trade,  will  give  orders,  as  soon  as  possible,  to  their  factors,  agents 
and  correspondents  in  Great  Britain  and  Ireland,  not  to  ship  any 
goods  to  them,  on  any  pretence  whatever,  as  they  cannot  be  received 
in  America;  and  if  any  merchant  residing  in  Great  Britain  or 
Ireland  shall,  directly  or  indirectly,  ship  any  goods,  wares  or  mer- 
chandize, for  America,  in  order  to  break  the  said  non-importation 
agreement,  or  in  any  manner  contravene  the  same,  on  such 
unworthy  conduct  being  well  attested,  it  ought  to  be  made  publick ; 
a7id  on  the  same  being  so  done,  we  will  not  from  thenceforth  have 
any  commercial  connexion  with  such  merchant. 

"Sixth,  That  such  as  are  owners  of  vessels  will  give  positive 
orders  to  their  captains,  or  masters,  not  to  receive  on  board  their 
vessels  any  goods  prohibited  by  the  said  non-importation  agree- 
ment, on  pain  of  immediate  dismission  from  their  service. 

"Seventh,  We  will  use  our  utmost  endeavors  to  improve  the 
breed  of  sheep  and  increase  their  number  to  the  greatest  extent; 
and  to  that  end  we  will  kill  them  as  sparingly  as  may  be,  especially 
those  of  the  most  profitable  kind;  nor  will  we  export  any  to  the 
West  Indies  or  elsewhere ;  and  those  of  us  who  are  or  may  become 
overstocked  with,  or  can  conveniently  spare  any  sheep,  will  dispose 
of  them  to  our  neighbors,  especially  to  the  poorer  sort,  on  moderate 

"Eighth,  That  we  will  in  our  several  stations  encourage  fru- 
gality, economy  and  industry,  and  promote  agriculture,  arts  and 
the  manufactures  of  this  country,  especially  that  of  wool,  and  will 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  197 

discountenance  and  discourage  every  species  of  extravagance  and 
dissipation,  especially  all  horse-racing,  and  all  kinds  of  gaming, 
cock-fighting,  exhibitions  of  shows,  plays  and  other  expensive  diver- 
sions and  entertainments.  iVnd  on  the  death  of  any  relation  oi 
friend,  none  of  us,  or  any  of  our  families,  will  go  into  any 
further  mourning  dress  than  a  black  crape  or  ribbon  on  the  arm 
or  hat  for  the  gentleman,  and  a  black  ribbon  or  necklace  for  the 
ladies,  and  we  will  discontinue  the  giving  of  gloves  and  scarfs  at 

"Ninth,  That  such  as  are  vendors  of  goods  or  merchandize  will 
not  take  advantage  of  the  scarcity  of  goods  that  may  be  occasioned 
by  this  association,  but  will  sell  the  same  at  the  rates  we  have 
been  respectively  accustomed  to  do,  for  twelve  months  last  past. 
And  if  any  vendor  of  goods  or  merchandize  shall  sell  such  goods 
on  higher  terms,  or  shall  in  any  manner,  or  by  any  device  what- 
soever, violate  or  depart  from  this  agreement,  no  person  ought,  nor 
will  any  of  us  deal  with  any  such  person,  or  his,  or  her  factor  or 
agent  at  any  time  thereafter  for  any  commodity  whatever. 

"Tenth,  In  case  any  merchant,  trader,  or  other  persons  shall 
import  any  goods  or  merchandize,  after  the  first  day  of  December, 
and  before  the  first  day  of  February  next,  the  same  ought,  forth- 
with, at  the  election  of  the  owner,  to  be  either  reshipped  or  deliv- 
ered up  to  the  committee  of  the  county  or  town  wherein  they  shall 
be  imported,  to  be  stored  at  the  risk  of  the  importer,  until  the  non- 
importation agreement  shall  cease,  or  be  sold  under  direction  of 
the  committee  aforesaid  ;  and  in  the  last  mentioned  case,  the  owner 
or  owners  of  such  goods  shall  be  reimbursed  out  of  the  sales  the 
first  cost  and  charges,  the  profit,  if  any,  to  be  applied  towards  the 
relieving  and  employing  such  poor  inhabitants  of  the  town  of 
Boston  as  are  immediately  sufferers  by  the  Boston  Port  Bill;  and 
a  particular  account  of  all  goods  so  returned,  stored,  or  sold,  to  be 
inserted  in  the  publick  papers;  and  if  any  goods  or  merchandizes 
shall  be  imported  after  the  said  fi.rst  day  of  February,  the  same  ought 
forthwith,  to  be  sent  back  again,  without  breaking  any  of  the 
packages  thereof. 

"Eleventh,  That  a  committee  be  chosen  in  every  county,  city, 
and  town,  by  those  who  are  qualified  to  vote  for  representatives  in 
Legislature,  whose  business  it  shall  be,  attentively  to  observe  the 
conduct  of  all  persons  touching  the  association;  and  when  it  shall 

198  Southtvest  Virginia.  17J,(]-17S(i. 

1)1*  made  to  aj)})C'ai"  to  the  satisfaction  of  a  majority  of  such  com- 
mittee, that  any  person  within  the  limits  of  their  appointment 
has  violated  this  association,  tliat  such  majority  do  fortlnvitli  cause 
tl)e  truth  of  the  case  to  he  ])uhlishe(!  in  the  (iazette,  to  the  end  that 
all  such  t'ocs  to  the  rights  of  British  Auiei'ica  may  he  ])ul)licklv 
known  and  universally  contemned  as  the  enemies  of  Amei-ican 
liherty;  and  thenceforth  we  will  res])ectively  hreak  olf  all  dealings 
with  him  or  her. 

"Twelfth,  That  the  Committee  of  Correspondenci'  in  the  i'esj)ec- 
tive  Colonies  do  frequently  inspect  the  entries  of  their  custom 
houses,  and  inform  each  other  from  time  to  time,  of  the  true  state 
thereof,  and  of  every  other  material  circumstance  that  may  occur 
relative  to  this  association. 

"Thirteenth,  That  all  manufactures  of  this  country  he  sold  at 
reasonable  prices,  so  that  no  undue  advantages  W  taken  of  a  future 
scarcity  of  goods. 

"Fourteenth,  And  we  do'  further  agree  and  resolve,  that  we  will 
have  no  trade,  commerce,  dealings  or  intercourse  whateM'i-  with 
any  Colony  or  Province  in  North  America,  which  shall  not  accede 
to,  or  which  shall  hereafter  violate  this  association,  hut  will  hold 
them  as  unworthy  of  the  rights  of  freemen  and  as  inimical  to  the 
liberties  of  their  country. 

"And  we  do  solemnly  bind  ourselves  and  our  constituents,  under 
the  ties  aforesaid,  to  adhere  to  this  association  until  such  parts 
of  the  several  Acts  of  Parliament  passed  since  the  close  of  the  last 
war  as  imposed  or  continue  diities  on  tea,  wine,  molasses,  syrups, 
paneles,  coffee,  sugar,  pimento,  indigo,  foreign  ]")aper.  glass  and 
painters'  colors  imported  into  America,  and  extend  the  powers 
of  the  Admiraltv  courts  beyond  their  ancient  limits,  deprive  the 
American  subjects  of  trial  by  jury,  authorize  the  judge's  C(>rtificate 
to  indemnify  the  prosecutor  fi-om  damages,  that  he  might  other- 
wise be  liable  to,  from  a  trial  by  his  peers,  require  oppressive  secu- 
rity from  a  claimant  of  ships  or  goods  seized  before  he  shall  be 
allowed  to  defend  his  property,  are  repealed.  And  until  that  part 
of  the  Act  of  the  13  Geo.  3,  ch.  24.  entitled  'an  Act  for  the  better 
securing  his  Majesty's  dock-yards,  magazines,  ships,  ammunition 
and  stores,'  by  which  any  persons  charged  with  committing  any 
of  tlie  offences  therein  described,  in  America,  may  be  tried  in  any 
shire  or  county  within  the  realm,  is  repealed — and  until  the  four 

Southwest  Virginia,  171,6-1786.  199 

Acts  2:)assed  in  the  last,  session  of  Parliament,  viz.,  that  for  stopping 
tlie  i)ort  and  blocking  np  the  harbonr  of  Boston — that  for  alter- 
ing the  Charter  and  Government  of  the  Massachnsetts  Bay — and 
that  which  is  entitled,  ''An  Act  for  the  better  administration  of 
justice,  &c." — and  that  for  "extending  the  limits  of  Quebec,  &c.," 
ai'e  rejx^aled.  And  we  recommend  it  to  the  Provincial  Conven- 
tions, and  to  the  committee  in  tlie  respective  Colonies,  to  establish 
such  furtlier  regulations  as  they  may  think  proper,  for  carrying  into 
execution  this  association." 

After  the  adoption  of  the  foregoing  resolutions  and  articles  of 
association,  the  Congress  drew  up  a  petition  to  the  king,  a  memo- 
rial tO'  tlie  people  of  England  and  an  address  to  the  people  of  the 
C^olonies,  and  another  to  the  French  Colonists  of  Quebec,  Georgia 
and  Nova  Scotia.  Tliis  Congress  adjourned  on  the  26th  day  of 
October,  1774,  after  having  decided  to  hold  another  Congress  at  the 
same  place  on  the  lOth  day  of  May,  1775,  if  their  present  grievances 
continued.  The  proceedings  of  this  Congress  have  enlisted  the 
admiration  of  the  world  for  more  than  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
five  years,  and  the  work  of  the  fifty-two  men  composing  this  Con- 
gress will  live  while  a  Eepul)lican  form  of  Government  and  free 
institutions   exist. 

After  the  adjournment  of  this  Congress,  the  Colonies  were  in 
that  condition  which  precedes  the  coming  of  a  storm,.  The  people 
were  willing  to  foi-give  and  forget,  provided  their  petitions  were 
listened  to  and  their  wrongs  corrected ;  otherwise  they  were  ready 
to  give  their  lives  and  property  in  defence  of  their  liberty. 

It  was  now  time  for  the  English  statesmen  to  recognize,  in  the 
resistance  of  the  Colonies,  that  spirit  of  freedom  which  has  ever 
marked  the  actions  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  race. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  British  Parliament  on  the  30th  day  of 
January,  1775,  Lord  Dartmouth,  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colo- 
nies, laid  before  the  House  of  Peers  all  the  papers  relative  to  the 
American  Colonies.  As  soon  as  all  papers  were  read,  William  Pitt, 
the  undying  friend  ot  the  American  Colonies,  arose  and  moved  that 
an  address  be  presented  to  the  King,  requesting  him  to  direct  Gen- 
eral Gage  to  move  his  Majesty's  forces  from  the  town  of  Boston. 
He  said  :  "America  could  not  be  reconciled,  she  ought  not  to  be 
reconciled  to  this  country,  till  the  troops  of  Britain  are  removed 
from  the  Continent.     Besistance  to  your  acts  was  necessary,  and 

200  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

therefore  ju^t;  and  your  vain  declarations  of  the  omnipotence  of 
Parliament,  and  your  imperious  doctrines  of  the  necessity  of  sub- 
mission, will  be  equally  impotent  to  convince  or  enslave  America. 
You  may,  no  doubt,  destroy  their  cities,  you  may  cut  them  off 
from  the  superfluities,  perhaps  the  conveniences,  of  life;  but 
my  Lords,  they  will  still  despise  your  power,  for  they  have  yet 
I'emaining  their  woods  and  their  liberty.  He  said  that  the  spirit 
which  now  animates  America  was  the  same  that  led  to  the  revolu- 
tion in  England,  and  that  the  friends  of  liberty  on  both  sides  of 
the  Atlantic  had  but  one  common  cause.  "In  this  great  cause," 
he  continued,  "they  are  immovably  allied;  it  is  the  alliance  of 
God  and  Nature,  immutable,  eternal,  fixed  as  the  firmament  of 
heaven."  His  Lordship  admitted  the  right  of  Parliament  to  con- 
trol the  complicated  machinery  of  commerce  and  navigation,  but 
denied  its  authority  over  the  property  of  the  people  of  the  Colonies ; 
"property  is  private,  individual,  absolute,  the  touch  of  another 
annihilates  it."  He  besought  the  House  to  rest  upon  that  distinc- 
tion, to  allow  the  Americans  to  maintain  their  principles  of  taxa- 
tion, and  to  confine  the  exercise  of  parliamentary  authority  to  the 
regulation  of  commerce.  Of  the  Continental  Congress  the  noble 
Earl  spoke  in  a  strain  of  the  highest  eulogy.  "History,  my  Lords," 
said  he,  "has  been  my  favorite  study,  and  in  the  celebrated  writings 
of  antiquity  have  I  often  admired  the  patriotism  of  Greece  and 
Eome ;  but,  my  Lords,  I  must  declare  and  avow,  that  in  the  master- 
states  of  the  world,  I  know  not  the  people  or  the  Senate,  who  in 
such  a  complication  of  difficult  circumstances  can  stand  in  prefer- 
ence to  the  Delegates  of  America,  assembled  in  General  Congress 
at  Philadelphia.  I  trust  it  is  obvious  to  your  Lordships,  that  all 
attempts  to  impose  servitude  upon  such  men,  to  establish  despotism 
over  such  a  mighty  continental  nation,  must  he  vain,  must  he  futile." 
The  speaker  went  on  to  say,  that  ministerial  manoeuvres 
would  never  be  able  to  resist  such  a  union  as  that  of  America,  that 
the  hour  of  danger  was  not  to  be  averted  by  the  tricks  of  office,  that 
matters  bad  now  gone  so  far  that  even  re])ealing  the  obnoxious 
Acts  would  not  restore  the  lost  confidence  of  America,  unless 
his  Majesty's  armed  force  was  withdrawn  from  the  Continent. 
The  jSToble  Lord  pledged  himself,  that  they  would  one  day  find 
themselves  compelled  to  undo  alL  their  oppressive  acts.  He  advised 
them,  therefore,  to  enter  at  once  into  that  course,  of  their  own 

Southwest  Virginia,  nJt6-1786.  '  201 

accord,  which  they  must  be  ultimately  forced  to  adopt.  "To  con- 
clude, my  Ivords,"  said  lie,  "if  the  Ministers  thus  persevere  in  mis- 
advising and  misleading  the  King,  I  will  not  say  that  they  can 
alienate  the  affections  of  his  subjects  from  the  Crown;  but,  1 
affiriv,  they  will  make  the  Crown  not  worth  his  wearing,  I  will 
not  say  that  the  King  is  betrayed,  but  I  will  prononnce  that  the 
Kingdom  is  undone." 

The  motion  of  Lord  Chatham  was  rejected  by  a  large  majority, 
and  the  British  Ministry  declared  their  purpose  never  to  abandon 
a  single  right  until  the  American  Colonies  were  whipped  into 
obedience.  The  same  day  that  William  Pitt  delivered  the  pre- 
ceding address  in  the  House  of  Lords,  the  backwoodsmen  of  Fin- 
castle  county  met,  pursuant  to  the  resolves  of  the  Continental  Con- 
gress, at  the  Lead  Mines,  their  county  seat,  and  took  action  in  the 
premises ;  of  which  the  following  is  a  correct  account : 

"In  obedience  to  the  resolves  of  the  Continental  Congress,  a 
meeting  of  the  Freeholders  of  Fincastlc  County,  in  Virginia,  was 
held  on  the  20th  day  of  January,  1775,  who,  after  approving  of  the 
Association  framed  by  that  august  liody  in  behalf  of  all  the  Colo- 
nies, and  subscribing  thereto,  proceeded  to  the  election  of  a  Com- 
mittee, to  see  the  same  carried  punctually  into  execution,  when  the 
following  gentlemen  were  nominated  :  the  Eeverend  Charles  Curn- 
mings.  Colonel  William  Preston,  Colonel  William  Christian,  Cap- 
tain Stephen  Trigg,  Major  Arthur  Campbell,  Major  William  Inglis, 
Captain  Walter  Crockett,  Captain  John  Montgomery,  Captain 
James  McGavocl-,  Captain  William  Campbell,  Captain  Thomas 
Madison,  Captain  Daniel  Sviith,  Captain  William  Russell,  Captain 
Evan  Shelby  and  Lieutenant  William  Edmondson..  After  the  elec- 
tion the  committee  made  choice  of  Colonel  William  Christian 
for  their  chairman,  and  appointed  Mr.  David  Campbell  to  be  clerk." 

The  following  address  was  then  unanimously  agreed  to  by  the 
people  of  the  county,  and  is  as  follows : 

To  the  Honorable  PEYTO^t  RANDOLPH,  Esquire,  RICH- 
SON, and  EDMUND  PENDLETON,  Esquires,  the  Delegates 
from  this  Colony,  who  attended  the  Continental  Congress  held  at 

Gentlemen,— Had   it   not   been   for  our   remote   situation   and 

202  ^^oufhircsi  Virginia,  17J,()-17S6. 

the  ludian  M'nr  wliieli  we  were  bitoly  engaged  in  to  chastise  those 
cruel  and  savage  people  for  the  many  nuirders  and  depredations 
they  have  committed  amongst  us,  now  happily  terminated  under 
the  auspices  of  our  present  worthy  Governor,  His  Excellency  the 
Right  Honorable  the  Earl  of  Durwiore,  we  should  before  this  time 
have  made  know^n  to  you  our  thankfulness  for  the  very  important 
services  you  have  rendered  to  yowx  country,  in  conjunction  with 
(he  worthy  Delegates  from  tlie  other  Provinces.  Your  noble  efforts 
for  reconciling  the  motlier  country  and  the  Colonies,  on  rational 
and  constitutional  principles  and  yonr  pacifick,  steady  and  uniform 
conduct  in  that  arduous  work  entitle  you  to  the  esteem  of  all 
British  America,  and  will  immortalize  you  in  the  annals  of  your 
country.  We  heartily  concur  in  your  resolutions,  and  shall,  in 
every  instance,  strictly  and  invariably  adhere  tliereto. 

We  assure  you,  gentlemen,  and  all  our  countrymen,  that  we  are 
a  people  whose  hearts  overflow  witli  love  and  duty  to  our  lawful 
Sovereign,  George  the  Third,  whose  illustrious  House  for  several 
successive  reigns  have  been  the  guardians  of  the  civil  and  religious 
rights  and  liberties  of  British  subjects,  as  settled  at  the  glorious 
Eevolution;  that  we  are  willing  to  risk  our  lives  in  the  service  of  his 
Majesty  for  the  support  of  the  Protestant  religion  and  the  rights  and 
liberties  of  his  subjects,  as  they  have  been  estal:)lished  by  compact, 
law  and  ancient  chartei's.  We  are  heartily  grieved  at  the  dif- 
ferences which  now  subsist  between  the  parent  state  and  the  Colo- 
nies, and  most  ardently  wish  to  see  harmony  restored  on  an  equi- 
table basis  and  by  the  most  lenient  measures  that  can  be  devised 
by  the  heart  of  man.  Many  of  us  and  our  forefathers  left  our 
native  land,  considering  it  as  a  kingdom  subjected  to  inordinate 
power  and  greatly  abridged  of  its  liberties;  we  crossed  the  Atlantic, 
and  ex])lored  this  then  uncultivated  wilderness  Iwrdering  on  many 
nations  of  savages  and  surrounded  by  mountains  almost  inacces- 
sible to  any  but  those  very  savages,  who  have  incessantly  been  com- 
mitting l)arbarities  and  depredations  on  us  since  our  first  seating 
the  country.  These  fatigues  and  dangers  we  patiently  encoun- 
tered, supported  by  the  pleasing  hope  of  enjoying  those  rights  and 
liberties  which  had  been  granted  to  Virginians,  and  were  denied 
us  in  our  native  country,  and  of  transmitting  them  inviolate  to 
our  posterity;  but  even  to  these  remote  regions  the  hand  of  unlim- 
ited and  unconstitutional  power  hath  pursued  us,  to  strip  us  of 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-17S6.  203 

that  liberty  and  property  with  which  God,  nature  and  the  rights 
of  himianity  liave  vested  lis.  We  are  ready  and  willing  to  coutri- 
biite  all  in  our  power  for  the  support  of  his  Majesty's  government, 
if  applied  to  constitutionally,  and  when  the  grants  are  made  by  our 
own  Eepresentatives,  but  cannot  think  of  submitting  our  liljerty 
or  property  to  the  power  of  a  venal  British  Parliament,  or  to  the 
will  of  a  corrupt  jVIinisti'y.  We  by  no  means  desire  to^  shake  off  our 
duty  or  allegiance  to  our  lawful  sovereign,  but,  on  the  contrary, 
shall  ever  glory  in  being  the  loyal  subjects  of  a  Protestant  prince, 
descended  from  such  illustrious  progenitors,  so-  long  as  we  can 
enjoy  the  free  exercise  of  our  religion  as  Protestants,  and  our 
liberties  and  properties  as  British  Subjects. 

But  if  no  pacifick  measures  shall  be  proposed  or  ado])ted  Ijy  Great 
Britain,  and  our  enemies  will  attempt  tO'  dragoon  us  out  of  those 
inestimable  privileges,  which  we  are  entitled  to  as  subjects,  and 
to  redTice  us  to  a  state  of  slavery,  we  declare  that  we  are  deliberately 
and  resolutely  determined  never  to  surrender  them  to  any  power 
upon  earth  but  at  the  expense  of  our  lives. 

These  are  our  real,  though  unpolished,  sentiments  of  lil)erty  and 
loyalty,  and  in  them  we  are  resolved  to  live  and  die. 

We  are,  gentlemen,  with  the  most  perfect  esteem  and  regard, 
your  most  obedient  servants. 

The  meeting  of  the  freehjDlders  of  Fincastle  county,  on  the  20th 
of  Janiiary,  1775,  in  answer  to  the  resolves  of  the  Continental  Con- 
gress was  not  the  first  meeting  held  for  this  purpose  in  the  Colony, 
Init  it  was,  as  far  as  we  have  any  record,  the  first  meeting  in  which 
the  freeholders  declared  that  they  were  deliberately  and  resolutely 
determined  never  to  surrender  their  inestimable  privileges  to  any 
power  upon  earth  but  at  the  expense  of  their  lives.  The  senti- 
ments of  this  meeting  were  definitely  stated  by  the  Committee  of 
Safety  when  they  declared  that  the  freeholders  of  Fincastle  county 
did  not  desire  to  shake  off  their  allegiance  to  their  lawful  sovereign 
as  long  as  they  could  enjoy  the  free  exercise  of  their  religion  as 
Protestants  and  their  liberties  and  properties  as  British  subjects. 
The  Committee  of  Safety,  appointed  by  the  freeholders  of  Fin- 
castle county,  was  composed  of  fifteen  men,  any  one  of  whom,  by 
reason  of  his  intelligence  and  patriotism,  was  competent  to  draft 
the  address  be'fore  given, 
'.^he  meml)ers  of  that  committee  living  at  that  time  on  lands 

204  Southwest  Virginia,,  1746-1786. 

afterwards  Avithin   tlie  limit?  of  the  county  of  Washington,  were 
;-even  in  niiinber,  as  follows: 

IJeverend  Charles  Ciimmings,  Major  Arthur  Campbell, 

Captain  William  Campbell,  Captain  Daniel  Smith, 

Captain  William  I'ussell,  Captain  Evan  Shelby, 

Lieutenant  William  Edmiston.  i 

Early  in  the  year  1775,  the  British  Parliament  passed  a  bill 
restraining  the  trade  of  Virginia  and  that  of  a  number  of  the  other 

Several  efforts  were  made  by  members  of  this  Parliament  to 
have  measures  adopted  that  would  have  a  tendency  to  bring  the 
Colonies  and  Great  Britain  together,  but  all  to  no  purpose.  In 
the  Virginia  House  of  Burgesses,  Patrick  Henry  introduced  a  num- 
ber of  resohitions  for  arming  and  disciplining  the  militia  of  the 
(*olonies,  and  the  delegates  to  the  former  Congress  held  in  Phil- 
adelphia were  re-elected,  along  witli  Thomas  Jefferson,  to^  serve 
in  the  next  Congress  which  met  at  Philadelphia  in  May,  1775. 

In  the  month  of  April,  hostilities  began  between  General  Gage, 
commanding  the  British  forces  at  Boston,  and  the  troops  of  the 
Massachusetts  Colony,  and  the  first  blood  of  the  Eevolution  was 
shed  at  Lexington,  Massachusetts,  on  the  17th  day  of  April,  1775. 
In  a  few  days  this  news  spread,  and  the  entire  Colony  was  in  arms. 
The  first  blow  had  been  struck  by  the  King's  troops,  and  now  the 
Colonies  took  up  their  arms  in  self-defence. 

In  Virginia,  Governor  Dunmore,  upon  a  plea  that  an  insurrec- 
tion existed  in  a  neighboring  count)%  removed  the  powder  stored  in 
the  public  magazine  at  Williamsburg,  and  placed  it  on  board  of  a 
ship  by  a  small  body  of  marines,  on  the  9th  of  April,  1775.  This 
action  of  the  Governor  provoked  a  great  deal  of  discontent,  and, 
in  answer  to  a  request  from  the  officials  of  the  city  of  Williamsburg, 
he  promised  to  restore  the  powder  whenever  wanted,  but  declined 
to  do  so  at  that  time,  for  the  reason  that  he  had  heard  that  the 
people  were  armed,  and  that  he  did  not  think  it  prudent  to  put. 
powder  in  their  hands. 

This  promise  of  the  Governor  did  not  satisfy  the  people,  and, 
arming  themselves,  they  began  to  assemble  and  march  through,  the 
streets  of  Williamsburg,  whereupon,  Governor  Dunmore  sent  them 
a  message  in  which  he  stated  that  if  they  interfered  with  any  of 
the  King's  officers  he  would  declare  freedom  to  their  slaves  and 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  205 

lav  Williamsburg  in  ashes.  This  information  being  communicated 
to  the  sm-i-oimding  country  and  the  news  from  Massachusetts  hav- 
ing reached  Virginia,  the  people  flew  to  arms  in  all  directions. 
Patrick  Henry  placed  no  confidence  in  the  promise  of  the  Governor 
and  resolved  upon  making  an  effort  to  recover  the  powder. 

He  organized  a  company  in  his  own  county,  and,  with  this  com- 
pany, began  his  march  to  Williamsburg.  Patrick  Henry  was  very 
popular  with  the  people  of  the  Colony  and  upon  their  hearing  of  his 
determination,  fully  five  thousand  men  tendered  him  their  services. 
The  Governor  was  greatly  alarmed  by  this  occurrence  and  fled  from 
the  capitol  and  boarded  a  man-of-war.  Apprehending  the  conse- 
(luences  of  this  act  of  Patrick  Henrv's,  he  directed  the  Eeceiver- 
General  of  the  Colony  to  meet  Mr.  Henry  and  pay  him  in  full  for 
the  powdei"  that  had  been  carried  off,  which  he  did.  Thereupon, 
Henry  and  his  followers  dispersed  to  their  homes.  Two  days  after 
this  occurrence,  the  Governor  proclaimed  Patrick  Henry  an  out- 
law. Upon  the  ir)th  day  of  July,  1775,  the  Committee  of  Safety 
for  Fincastle  county  assembled  at  the  Lead  Mines,  ^d  adopted  the 
following  resolutions  in  approbation  of  the  course  pursued  by  Pat- 
lick  Henry.  S      i   '     I 

At  a  committee  held  for  Fincastle  County,  July  15th,  1775, 
William  Christian,  chairman.  The  committee,  taking  into  their 
consideratioB  the  clandestine  removal  of  the  gunpowder  from  the 
magazine  o^this  Colony  by  order  of  our  Governor,  are  clearly  and 
unanimously  of  opinion  that  his  Lordship's  conduct  reflects  much 
dishonor  on  himself,  and  he  very  justly  deserves  the  censure  so 
universally  bestowed  upon  him. 

Eesolved,  That  the  spirited  and  meritorious  conduct  O'f  Pat- 
rick Henry,  Esq.,  and  the  rest  of  the  gentlemen  volunteers  at- 
tending him  on  the  occasion  of  the  removal  of  the  gunpowder 
out  of  the  magazine  in  Williamsburg,  very  justly  merits  the  very 
hearty  approbation  of  this  committee,  for  which  we  return  them 
our  thanks,  with  an  assurance  that  we  will,  at  the  risk  of  our  own 
lives  and  fortunes,  support  and  justify  them  with  regard  to  the 
reprisal  they  made.* 

Eesolved,  That  the  council  of  this  Colony  in  advising  and 
co-operating  with  Lord  Dunmore  in  issuing  the  proclamation  of 
the  3d  of  May  last,  charging  the  people  of  this  Colony  with  an 

*Amer.  Arch.,  Vol.  II.,  pp.  16-20,  16-21. 

20()  Soiilhircst   Virginia,  l'7Jt6-1786. 

ungovernahlc  spirit  and  licentious  2:)ractices,  is  contrary  to  many 
known  inattcM's  of  fact,  and  l)nt  too  jnstly  shows  to  us  that  those 
who  oiialit  to  be  mediators  and  guardians  of  our  liberties  are 
become  the  abject  tools  of  a  detested  administration. 

Eesolved,  That  it  is  the  ojiinion  of  this  committee  that  the 
late  sanguinary  attempt  and  pre])arations  of  the  King's  troops,  in 
the  C'olony  of  Narragansett  Bay,  are  truly  alarming  and  irritating, 
and  loudly  call  upon  all,  even  the  most  distant  and  interiour  parts 
of  the  Colonies,  to  prepare  and  be  ready  for  the  extreme  event,  by 
a  fixed  resolution  and  a  firm  and  manly  resolve  to  avert  ministerial 
cruelty,  in  defence  of  our  reasonable  rights  and  liberties. 

A  perusal  of  these  resolutions  clearly  show  the  spirit  that  ani- 
mated the  people  of  Fincastle  county.  The  third  Continental  Con- 
gress asseudjled  at  Philadeli)hia  on  the  loth  day  of  May,  1775,  and 
elected  the  following  oificers  : 

l*residcnt,  Peyton  Randolph,  Virginia; 

Secretary,  -Charles   Thompson,   of   Pennsylvania. 

Among  the  first  measures  proposed  and  adopted  by  this  Con- 
gress was  one  looking  to  the  placing  of  the  Colonies  in  a  defensive 
position  and,  on  the  7th  day  of  June,  1775,  the  Congress  passed 
a  resolution  fixing  the  30th  day  of  July,  1775,  as  a  day  to  be 
observed  by  the  twelve  Colonies  in  humiliation,  fasting  and  prayer. 
About  this  time.  General  Gage,  commander  of  the  British  forces 
at  Boston,  issued  a  proclamation  in  the  King's  name^  offering  a 
jiardon  to  all  of  the  people  who  would  lay  down  their  arms,  except 
John  Hancock  and  Samii^l  Adams. 

At  this  time,  Peyton  Randolph,  President  of  the  Continental 
Congress,  resigned  his  position  as  President  of  the  Congress,  and 
thereii]K)n  John  Hancock  was  elected  president — this  election 
being  in  answer  to  General  Gage's  proclamation.  On  the  15th  of 
June,  1775,  tlie  Continental  Congress,  by  a  unanimous  vote,  elected 
as  Commander-in-Chief  of  all  the  continental  forces  George 
Washington,  of  Virginia,  and  elected  the  following  Major-Gen- 
erals:  Artemus  Ward.  Philip  Schuyler  and  Charles  Lee,  and  Ho- 
ratio Gates,  as  Adjutant-General. 

On  the  17th  of  June,  1775,  the  battle  of  Breed's  Hill  was 
fought,  in  which  l)attle  the  British  suffered  a  loss  of  eleven  hundred 
men,  of  whdin  two  hundred  and  twenty-six  were  killed,  eighty-nine 
of  the  niiiiiher  ollicers.     '^I'lie  American  loss  was  four  hundred  and 

Southwest  Virginia,  17J,0-17S0.  ^07 

fifty-three  killed,  wounded  and  missing.  The  Continental  Con- 
gress, in  this  month,  ordered  twelve  rifle  companies  to  l)e  raised 
in  Virginia,  ^laryland  and  Pennsylvania,  and  directed  the  issuing 
of  two  million  dollars  in  continental  currency,  for  the  redemption 
of  \\liich  they  pledged  the  ])roperty  of  the  twelve  Colonies.  Gen- 
eral Washington,  immediately  upon  the  receipt  of  his  commission, 
proceeded  to  Massachusetts,  where  he  took  charge  of  the  continental 
troops,  and,  l)y  the  middle  of  August,  the  rifle  companies  ordered 
to  he  raised  in  Virginia,  reached  Camhridge,  Massachusetts,  in  ' 
time  to  take  part  in  the  capture  of  Boston. 

While  we  have  no  documentary  evidence  of  the  fact,  there  can 
be  no  douht  that  a  nuniher  of  the  riflemen  from  Fincastle  county 
accompanied  the  troops  from  Virginia.  In  the  meantime,  on  the 
()th  day  of  July,  1775,  the  Congress  of  the  United  Colonies  adojited 
a  memorial  setting  forth  the  causes  that  led  to,  and  the  necessity 
of,  their  taking  up  arms. 

On  the  24th  day  of  Jul}',  1775,  the  ("olonial  Convention  of  Vir- 
ginia met  at  ^^'illiamsbu^g  and  appointed  a  Committee  of  Safety, 
and  passed  an  act  for  the  raising  of  two  regiments  to  be  placed 
under  the  command  of  Patrick  Henry,  who  was  made  commander 
of  all  tlie  forces  raised  and  to  l)e  raised  in  defence  of  the  Colony. 
The  two  regiments  were  speedily  raised,  and  assembled  at  Wil- 

The  Committee  of  Safety  for  Fincastle  county,  in  answer  to  the 
resolutions  of  the  Virginia  Convention,  immediately  dispatched  a 
company  of  choice  riflemen  from  Fincastle  county,  under  the  com- 
mand of  Captain  William  Campbell,  this  company  being  among  the 
first  to  arrive  at  Williamsburg. 

On  the  3d  day  of  Septemljer  of  this  year,  a  Britisli  ship-of-war 
was  driven  ashore  near  Hampton,  Virginia,  during  a  storm,  and, 
on  the  morning  of  the  4th,  the  people  set  fire  to  and  destroyed  it. 
The  captain  of  the  ship  threatened  to  burn  the  town  and  actually 
tried  to  do  so,  but  the  Virginia  Committee  of  Safety  dispatched 
Colonel  Woodford,  with  three  companies  of  riflemen,  to  the  assist- 
ance of  the  people  of  Hampton.  Of  the  three  companies  thus  dis- 
patched, one  was  the  company  of  Fincastle  troops  under  Captain 
William  Campbell.* 

When  the  British  captain  began  his  attack  upon  the  town  he 

*Amer.  Arch.,  Vol.  — ,  p.  296. 

208  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

was  so  warmly  received  by  Colonel  Woodford  and  his  men,  that  he 
took  to  flight  after  the  loss  of  a  number  of  men.  Thus  it  will 
be  seen  that  troops  from  Fincastle  county  took  part  in  the  first 
engagement  of  the  Eevolutionai-y  war,  on  Virginia  soil,  in  which 
blood  was  slied.  Upon  the  receipt  of  this  information.  Lord  Dun- 
more  issued  a  proclamation,  proclaiming  freedom  to  all  the  slaves 
who  would  join  his  standard.  He  thus  gathered  a  considerable 
number  of  volunteers,  of  whom  four  hundred  were  slaves.  Colonel 
Woodford  and  his  company  returned  to  Williamsburg.  Lord  Dun- 
more  with  his  forces  began  a  series  of  depredations  upon  the  people 
living  along  the  sea-coast,  and  the  Virginia  Committee  of  Safety 
again  dispatched  Colonel  Woodford  at  the  head  of  eight  hundred 
men  to  drive  him  from  his  position  at  the  Great  Bridge.  Colonel 
Woodford  had  not  been  long  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Great  Bridge, 
when  Lord  Dunmore  dispatched  Captain  Leslie,  with  the  regular 
troops  and  slaves,  to  attack  the  troops  under  Colonel  Woodford, 
and,  as  the  result  of  this  attempt,  every  man  of  the  British 
troops  was  killed,  wounded  or  captured ;  whereupon.  Governor  Dun- 
more  and  his  troops  went  aboard  their  ships,  leaving  Colonel  Wood- 
ford and  the  Colonial  troops  in  complete  control  of  the  position 
formerly  occupied  by  the  Governor. 

The  Colonial  troops  that  assembled  at  Williamsburg  formed 
two  battalions,  and  the  first  battalion,  to  which  the  troops  from 
Fincastle  were  attached ,  was  officered  as  followed : 

Colonel,  Patrick  Henry. 

Lieutenant-Colonel,   William    Christian,   of   Fincastle   county. 

Major,  Frank  Eppes. 

Lord  Dunmore,  after  his  defeat  at  the  Great  Bridge,  placed  all 
his  white  followers  on  board  the  ships  and  left  his  negro  allies 
to  shift  for  themselves.  After  some  time  his  provisions  began  to 
grow  scarce,  when  he  sent  a  request  to  the  citizens  of  Norfolk  for 
supplies,  which  request  was  denied,  and  on  the  1st  day  of  January, 
1776,  he  began  to  bombard  the  town  of  Norfolk,  with  four  ships, 
and,  under  cover  of  the  fire  from  these  ships,  a  company  of  sailors 
landed  and  set  fire  to  the  town,  which  soon  was  a  heap  of  ashes; 
an  uncalled  for  act  upon  the  part  of  the  British  forces. 

The  British  Parliament  at  its  session  in  1776,  passed  an  act  pro- 
hibiting all  trade  and  intercourse  with  the  thirteen  American 
Colo'nies,  and,  about  the  same  time,  the  King  of  England  nego- 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  209 

tiated  treaties  witli  some  of  tJie  petty  princes  of  Germany  for  the 
use  of  a  number  of  Hessian  troops  in  the  campaign  against  the 
American  Colonies.  When  information  of  this  act  of  the  British 
Parliament  reached  General  Washington,  he  decided  to  drive 
the  British  from  Boston  and  proceeded  to  do  so  on  the  2d  of  March, 
and,  on  the  4th  day  of  ]\Iarch,  General  Thomas,  with  a  detachment 
of  the  American  troops,  took  charge  of  Dorchester  Heights  over- 
looking Boston  harlwr.  In  a  few  days  thereafter.  General  Howe, 
with  nine  thousand  British  troops,  evacuated  Boston  without  a 
fight,  and  General  Washington,  at  the  head  of  the  continental  army, 
took  possession  on  the  17th  day  of  March,  177C. 

On  the  6th  day  of  May,  177C,  the  first  constitutional  conven- 
tion assembled  in  Virginia,  at  Williamsburg,  pursuant  to  the  direc- 
tions of  the  Committee  of  Safety,  under  an  ordinance  of  the  con- 
vention of  1775,  which  directed  that,  in  view  of  the  fact  tliat  the 
usual  meeting  of  the  General  Assembly  in  a  constitutional  way  had 
been  altogether  obstructed,  it  had  become  indispensably  necessary 
for  the  oppressed  people  of  this  country,  at  a  crisis  so  alarming, 
to  adopt  such  other  mode  of  consulting  and  providing  for  the  gen- 
eral safety  as  may  seem  most  conducive  to  that  great  end.  The 
members  of  this  convention  were  elected  in  the  same  manner  in 
which  the  members  of  the  House  of  Burgesses  had  been  previously 
elected,  and  the  representatives  in  this  convention  from  Fincastle 
county,  were : 

Arthur  Campbell, 
W^illiam  Russell,  ^ 

both  citizens  of  that  part  of  Fincastle  county  afterwards  included 
in  the  subseqiiently  formed  county  of  Washington. 

It  is  hard  to  understand,  except  upon  the  idea  that  the  people 
living  upon  the  waters  of  the  Holston  and  Clinch  exceeded  in 
number  the  people  living  on  the  waters  of  the  New  river  in  Fin- 
castle county,  how  both  members  of  this  Convention  should  have 
been  residents  of  the  western  part  of  Fincastle  county. 

Some  may  say  that  this  was  done  by  consent,  but  such  was  not 
the  fact,  for  the  elections  in  those  days  were  as  hotly  contested 
as  any  held  in  more  recent  times.  It  is  worthy  to  be  remembered, 
that  in  these  early  days  every  freeholder  was  required  to  vote  under 
the  penalty  of  two  hundred  pounds  of  tobacco  for  a  failure,  and 
every    freeholder   was    required    to   attend   and   vote   on   the    day 

210  South  iccsrVinjinla,   17J,G-17S0. 

a])p()inted,  at  the  Lead  Mines,  the  county  seat  of  Fincastle  county. 

Tlie  Virginia  convention  of  1776  was  one  of  the  most  important 
comentions  ever  lield  in  tlie  State,  whether  we  consider  the  char- 
acter of  the  memhers,  or  the  work  done  by  them.  The  Virginia 
Colony  at  tliis  time  was  in  open  revolt,  and  Lord  Dunmore,  the 
Governor,  was  an  exile  from  the  State. 

Tlic  King  by  liis  proclamation  had  declared  the  citizens  of  the 
(_!olony  rebels  and  enemies,  and  now  the  })eo2jle  by  their  representa- 
tives proceeded  in  an  orderly  manner  to  establish  a  government 
for  themselves. 

The  constitution  and  bill  of  rights  adopted  by  this  convention 
clearly  defined  the  fundamental  principles  of  all  free  government, 
and  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  enunciated  at  this  time,  was, 
beyond  (piestion,  the  forerunner  of  the  Great  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence adopted  by  the  Continental  Congress  on  July  4th,  1770. 
The  Bill  of  Eights  adopted  by  this  convention,  is  as  follows: 

"1st.  Whereas,  George  the  Tliird,  King  of  Great  Britain 
and  Ireland  and  Elector  of  Hanover,  heretofore  intrusted  with  the 
exercise  of  the  kingly  office  in  this  government,  hath  endeavored 
to  pei-vert  the  same  into  a  detestable  and  insupportable  tyranny, 
by  putting  his  negative  on  laws  the  most  wholesome  and  necessary 
for  the  publick  good ; 

By  denying  his  governoui's  permission  to  pass  laws  of  imme- 
diate and  pressing  importance,  unless  suspended  in  their  operation 
for  his  assent,  and,  when  so  suspended,  neglecting  to  attend  to 
them  for  many  years; 

By  refusing  to  pass  certain  other  laws,  unless  the  persons  to  be 
benefitted  by  them  would  relinf[uish  the  inestimable  right  of  repre- 
sentation in  the  legislatures; 

By  dissolving  legislative  assem.blies  repeatedly  and  continually, 
for  0])))osing  with  manly  firmness  his  invasions  of  the  rights  of 
the  people; 

When  dissolved,  by  refusing  to  call  others  for  a  long  space  of 
time,  thereljy  leaving  the  political  system  without  any  legislative 
head ; 

By  endeavoring  to  prevent  the  population  of  our  country,  and, 
for  that  ])nT]-)ose,  obstructing  the  laws  for  the  naturalization  of 
foreigners ; 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  211 

By  keeping  among  us  in  times  of  peace,  standing  armies  and 
ships  of  war; 

By  affecting  to  render  tlie  military  independent  of,  and  superior 
to  the  civil  power; 

By  coml)ining  with  others  to  subject  us  to  a  foreign  jurisdiction, 
giving  his  assent  to  their  pretended  acts  of  legislation ; 

For  quartei-ing  large  bodies  of  armed  troops  among  us ; 

For  cutting  off  our  trade  with  all  parts  of  the  world ; 

For  imposing  taxes  on  us  without  our  consent; 

For  depriving  us  of  the  benefits  of  trial  by  jury; 

For  transporting  us  beyond  seas  to  be  tried  for  pretended  of- 
fences ; 

For  suspending  our  own  legislatures,  and  declaring  themselves 
invested  with  power  to  legislate  for  us  in  all  cases  whatsoever ; 

By  plundering  our  seas,  ravaging  our  coasts,  burning  our  towm:., 
and  destroying  the  lives  of  our  people ; 

By  inciting  insurrections  of  our  fellow-subjects,  with  the  al- 
lurements of  forfeiture  and  confiscation; 

By  prompting  our  negroes  to  rise  in  arms  among  us,  those  very 
negroes,  whom,  by  an  inhuman  use  of  his  negative,  he  hath  refused 
us  permission  to  exclude  by  law ; 

By  endeavoring  to  bring  on  the  inhabitants  of  our  frontiers "  the 
merciless  Indian  savages,  whose  known  rule  of  warfare  is  an  un- 
distinguished destruction  of  all  ages,  sexes  and  conditions  of  exist- 

By  transporting,  at  this  time,  a  large  army  of  foreign  mer- 
cenaries, to  complete  the  works  of  death,  desolation  and  tyranny  al- 
ready begun  with  circumstances  of  cruelty  and  perfidy  unworthy 
the  head  of  a  civilized  nation; 

By  answering  our  repeated  petitions  for  redress  with  a  repeti- 
tion of  injuries ; 

And,  finally,  by  abandoning  the  helm  of  government,  and  de- 
claring us  out  of  his  allegiance  and  protection. 

By  which  several  acts  of  misrule,  the  government  of  this  coun- 
try, as  formerly  exercised  under  the  Crown  of  Great  Britain,  is 

The  result  of  this  action  by  the  Convention  was  the  formation 

*9  Hen.  Stat.,  page  112. 

212  Southwest  Virginia,  17J,6-1786. 

of  a  stable  and  efficient  government  for  the  State,  and  the  organi- 
zation of  the  militia  of  the  commonwealth. 

This  Constitution  was  proclaimed  on  the  29th  day  of  June,  1776, 
on  which  day  the  Committee  of  Safety,  designated  by  the  con- 
vention of  1775,  relinquished  their  authority,  and  Patrick  Henry 
was  -elected  the  first  Governor  of  the  Commonwealth.  At  the  same 
time  the  Privy  Council,  Treasurer,  Attorney  General,  and  the 
other  state  officers  were  elected  by  the  convention.  This  conven- 
tion, by  a  resolution,  adopted  a  design  for  a  seal  for  the  new  com- 
monwealth.   The  design  adopted  was  as  follows : 

"To  be  engraved  on  the  Great  Seal,  Virtus,  the  genius  of  the 
Commonwealth,  dressed  like  an  Amazon,  resting  on  a  spear  with 
one  hand  and  holding  a  sword  with  the  other  hand  and  treading 
on  Tyranny,  represented  by  a  man  prostrate,  a  crown  fallen  from 
his  head,  a  broken  chain  in  his  left  hand  and  a  scourge  in  his 
right.  In  the  exergon  the  word  "Virginia"  over  the  head  of  Vir- 
tus, and  underneath  the  words,  ^'^Sic  semper  tyrannis."  On  the 
reverse  a  groupe,  Libertas,  with  her  wand  and  pileus.  On  the  other 
side  of  her  Ceres,  with  the  cornucopia  in  one  hand  and  an  ear  of 
wheat  in  the  other.  On  the  other  side  Eternitas,  with  globe  and 
phoenix.    In  the  exergon  tliese  words :  Deus  IsTobis  Hasc  Otia  Fecit." 

This  declaration  of  the  Virginia  convention  is  said  to  have  been 
the  first  declaration  of  independence  recorded  in  the  world's  his- 
tory. The  American  people,  until  this  time,  had  not  seriously  con- 
templated a  complete  separation  from  England,  but  now  that  the 
British  Parliament  had  refused  to  listen  to  their  petition  and  was 
waging  an  active  war  against  them,  Eichard  Henry  Lee,  a  repre- 
sentative from  Virginia  in  the  Continental  Congress  at  Phila- 
delphia, in  the  month  of  May,  gave  notice  that  on  a  day  named 
he  would  move  the  Congress  to  adopt  a  Declaration  of  Independ- 

Early  in  this  same  month  the  Continental  Congress  had  adopted 
a  resolution  for  the  purpose  of  ascertaining  the  sentiment  of  the 
American  colonies  on  the  subject  of  the  independence  of  America. 
The  motion  of  Mr.  Lee  was  postponed  from  day  to  day,  until  the 
first  day  of  July,  two  days  after  the  adoption  of  the  Virginia  Con- 
stitution and  Bill  of  Eights,  when  the  Continental  Congress  re- 
solved itself  into  a  committee  of  the  whole,  and  began  the  con- 
sideration of  the  report  of  Thomas  Jefferson,  John  Adams,  Benja- 

Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  213 

inin  Franklin,  Eoger  Sherman,  and  E.  E.  Livingston,  the  com- 
mittee who  had  been  appointed  on  the  11th  of  Jime  to  prepare 
a  Declaration  of  Independence. 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that  this  committee,  when  appointed, 
agreed  that  each  member  should  draw  up  a  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence according  to  his  own  ideas,  with  the  understanding  that 
the  one  that  best  conformed  to  the  wishes  of  the  committee  as  a 
whole  should  be  adopted  as  the  report  of  the  committee.  It  is 
stated  that  Mr.  Jefferson's  Declaration,  being  the  first  read,  was 
imanimously  adopted  by  the  committee  without  debate,  the  other 
members  refusing  to  submit  their  papers  for  consideration. 

The  Continental  Congress,  after  three  days  of  heated  discussion, 
adopted  the  report  of  the  committee,  which  report  has  since  been 
known  as  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  and  is  as  follows : 

When  in  the  course  of  human  events  it  becomes  necessary  for 
one  people  to  dissolve  the  political  bands  which  have  connected 
them  with  another,  and  to  assume  among  the  powers  of  the  earth 
the  separate  and  ecpial  station  to  which  the  laws  of  nature  and 
nature's  God  entitle  them,  a  decent  respect  to  the  opinions  of  man- 
kind requires  that  they  should  declare  the  causes  which  impel 
them  to  such  separation. 

We  hold  these  truths  to  be  self-evident ;  that  all  men  are  created 
equal;  that  they  are  endowed  by  their  Creator  with  certain  un- 
alienable rights;  that  among  these  are  life,  liberty,  and  the  pur- 
suit of  happiness ;  that  to  secure  these  rights,  governments  are 
instituted  among  men,  deriving  their  just  powers  from  tlic  consent 
of  the  governed,  that  whenever  any  form  of  government  becomes 
destructive  of  these  ends,  it  is  the  right  of  the  people  to  alter  or 
abolish  it,  and  to  institute  a  new  government,  laying  its  founda- 
tion on  such  principles  and  organizing  its  power  in  such  form  as 
to  them  shall  seem  most  likely  to  effect  their  safety  and  happiness. 
Prudence,  indeed,  would  dictate  that  governments  long  established 
should  not  be  changed  for  light  and  transient  causes;  and  accord- 
ingly all  experience  hath  shown  that  mankind  are  more  disposed 
to  suffer,  while  evils  are  sufferable,  than  to  right  themselves  by 
abolishing  the  forms  to  which  they  are  accustomed;  but  when  a 
long  train  of  abuses  and  usurpations,  pursuing  invariably  the  same 
object,  evinces  a  design  to  reduce  them  under  absolute  despotism. 

214  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

it  is  their  right,  it  is  their  duty  to  throw  off  such  government,  and 
to  provide  now  guards  for  their  future  security. 

Such  has  been  tlie  patient  sufferance  of  these  colonies,  and  such 
is  now  the  necessity  wliich  constrains  tliem  to  alter  their  former 
systems  of  government.  The  history  of  the  present  King  of  Great 
Britain  is  a  history  of  repeated  injuries  and  usurpations,  all  hav- 
ing in  direct  object  the  establishment  cf  an  absolute  tyranny  over 
these  States.  To  prove  this  let  facts  be  submitted  to  a  candid 

He  has  refused  his  assent  to  laws  the  most  wholesome  and  neces- 
sary for  the  public  good. 

He  has  forbidden  his  governors  to  pass  laws  of  immediate  and 
pressing  importance,  unless  suspended  in  their  operations  till  his 
assent  should  be  obtained ;  and  when  so  suspended  he  has  utterly 
neglected  to  attend  to  them. 

He  has  refused  to  pass  other  laws  for  the  accommodation  of 
large  districts  of  people,  imless  those  people  would  relinquish  the 
rights  of  representation  in  the  legislature — a  right  inestimable  to 
them  and  formidable  to  tyrants  only. 

He  has  called  together  legislative  bodies  at  places  unusual,  un- 
comfortable and  distant  from  the  depository  of  their  public 
records,  for  the  sole  purpose  of  fatiguing  them  into  compliance 
with  his  measures. 

He  has  dissolved  representative  houses  repeatedly  for  opposing, 
with  manly  firmness,  his  invasion  of  the  rights  of  the  people. 

He  has   refused    for   a   long   time,   after   such   dissolutions,    to  - 
cause  others  to  be  elected,  whereby  the  legislative  powers,  incapa- 
ble of  annihilation,  have  returned  to  the  people  at  large  for  their 
exercise,  the  State  remaining  in  the  meantime  exposed  to  all  the 
dangers  of  invasion  from  without  and  convulsions  within. 

He  has  endeavored  to  prevent  the  population  of  these  States; 
for  that  purpose  obstructing  the  laws  for  naturalization  of  foTcign- 
ers,  refusing  to  pass  others  to  encourage  their  migrations  hither, 
and  raising  the  conditions  of  new  aj^propriations  of  lands. 

He  has  obstructed  the  administration  of  justice  by  refusing  his 
assent  to  laws  for  establishing  judiciary  powers. 

He  has  made  judges  dependent  on  his  will  alone  for  the  tenure 
of  their  offices  and  the  amount  and  payment  of  their  salaries. 

He  has   erected  a   multitude   of  new   offices,   and   sent  hither 

Southwest  Virginia,  17J^6-1786.  215 

swarms  of  officers,  to  harrass  our  people  and  eat  out  their  sub- 

He  has  kept  among  ns  in  times  of  peace  standing  armies  with- 
out the  consent  of  our  legislatures. 

He  has  affected  to  render  the  military  independent  of  and  su- 
perior to  the  civil  power. 

He  has  combined  with  otliers  to  subject  us  to  a  jurisdiction 
foreign  to  our  constitution  and  unacknowledged  by  our  laws, 
giving  his  assent  to  their  pretended  acts  of  legislation. 

For  quartering  large  bodies  of  armed  troops  among  us, 

For  protecting  them  by  a  mock  trial,  from  punishment,  for  any 
murders  which  they  should  commit  on  the  inhabitants  of  these 

For  cutting  off  our  trade  with  all  parts  of  the  world. 

For  imposing  taxes  on  us  without  our  consent, 

For  depriving  us  in  many  cases  of  the  benefit  of  trial  by  jury, 

FoT  transporting  us  beyond  seas,  to  be  tried  for  pretended 

For  abolishing  the  free  system  of  English  laws  in  a  neighboring 
Province,  establisliing  therein  an  arbitrary  government  and  enlarg- 
ing its  boundaries  so  as  to  render  it  at  once  an  example  and  fit 
instrument  for  introducing  the  same  absolute  rule  into  these 

For  taking  away  our  charters,  abolishing  our  most  valuable  laws 
and  altering  fundamentally  the  powers  of  our  gO'Vernments. 

For  suspending  our  own  Legislatures,  and  declaring  themselves 
invested  with  power  to  legislature  for  us  in  all  cases  whatsoever. 

He  has  abdicated  government  here,  by  declaring  us  out  of  his 
protection  and  waging  war  against  us. 

He  has  plundered  our  seas,  ravaged  our  coasts,  burnt  our  towns, 
and  destroyed  the  lives  of  our  people. 

He  is,  at  this  time,  transporting  large  armies  of  foreign  mer- 
cenaries, to  complete  the  work  of  death,  desolation  and  tyranny, 
already  begun  with  circumstances  of  cruelty  and  perfidy  scarcely 
paralleled  in  the  most  barbarous  ages  and  totally  unworthy  the 
head  of  a  civilized  nation. 

He  has  constrained  our  fellow-citizens,  taken  captive  on  the 
high  seas,  to  bear  arms  against  their  country,  to  become  the  execu- 

216  Southwest  Virginia,  17J,6-1786. 

tioners  of  their  friends  and  brethren,  or  to  fall  themselves  by  their 

He  has  excited  domestick  insurrections  amongst  us,  and  has 
endeavored  to  bring  on  the  inhabitants  of  our  frontiers  the  merci- 
less Indian  savages,  whose  known  rule  of  warfare  is  an  undistin- 
guished destruction  of  all  ages,  sexes  and  conditions. 

In  every  stage  of  these  oppressions,  we  have  petitioned  for  redress 
in  the  most  humble  terms;  our  repeated  petitions  have  been 
answered  only  by  repeated  injur3^  A  Prince  whose  character  is 
thus  marked  by  every  act  which  may  define  a  tyrant  is  unfit  to  be 
the  ruler  of  a  free  people. 

Nor  have  we  been  wanting  in  attention  to  our  British  brethren. 
We  have  warned  them  from  time  to  time,  of  attempts,  made  by  their 
Legislature  to  extend  an  unwarrantable  jurisdiction  over  us;  we 
have  reminded  them  of  the  circumstances  of  our  emigration  and 
settlement  here;  we  have  appealed  to  their  native  justice  and  mag- 
nanimity; and  we  have  conjured  them,  by  the  ties  of  our  common 
kindred,  to  disavow  these  usurpations,  which  would  inevitably 
interrupt  our  connections  and  correspondence.  They,  too,  have 
been  deaf  to  the  voice  of  justice  and  consanguinity.  We  must  there- 
fore acquiesce  in  the  necessity  which  denounces  our  separation, 
and  hold  them,  as  we  hold  the  rest  of  mankind,  enemies  in  war, 
in  peace  friends. 

We,  therefore,  the  representatives  of  the  United  States  of 
America  in  General  Congress  assembled,  appealing  to  the  Supreme 
Judge  of  the  world  for  the  rectitude  of  our  intentions,  do,  in  the 
name  and  by  the  authority  of  the  good  people  of  these  Colonies, 
solemnly  publish  and  declare,  that  these  United  Colonies  are,  and 
of  right  ought  to  be,  free  and  independent  States;  that  they 
are  absolved  from  all  allegiance  to  the  British  Crown.;  and  that 
all  political  connections  between  them  and  the  State  of  Great 
Britain,  is  and  ought  to  be  totally  dissolved ;  and  that,  as  free  and 
independent  States,  they  have  full  power  to  le\7  war,  conclude 
peace,  contract  alliances,  establish  commerce  and  to  do  all  other  acts 
and  things  which  independent  States  may  of  right  do.  And  for 
the  support  of  this  declaration,  with  a  firm  reliance  on  the  protec- 
tion of  Divine  Providence,  we  mutually  pledge  to  each  other  our 
lives,  our  fortunes  and  our  sacred  honor. 

It  has  been  said  that  this  Declaration  of  Independence  was  the 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  217 

most  sublime  exhibition  that  man  has  ever  made  to  man.  The 
members  composing  the  Congress  were,  in  their  intelligence  and 
patriotism,  the  giants  of  our  race,  and  the  object  of  that  Congress 
was  the  protection  of  our  race. 

This  Declaration  of  Independence  was  proclaimed  at  Philadel- 
phia on  the  8th  day  of  July,  1776,  and  on  the  9th  it  was  read 
to  each  brigade  of  the  Continental  army.  This  declaration  was 
received  by  the  people  at  all  points  with  the  greatest  enthusiasm. 

A  part  of  the  policy  adopted  by  the  British  Ministry  for  the 
reduction  of  the  American  Colonies  was  the  enlisting  of  the 
Indians  in  the  service  of  the  British  Government.  We  have  now 
reached  that  point  where  the  history  of  Southwest  Virginia  is 
closely  connected  with  the  operations  of  the  Indians  in  behalf  of 
the  British  Government.  Numerous  agents  of  the  Eoyal  Govern- 
ment were  sent  to  the  different  Indian  tribes  living  along  the 
waters  of  the  western  frontiers,  and  they  were  so  fai  successful  in 
their  efforts  to  incite  the  Indian  tribes  to  war,  that,  by  the  spring 
of  1776,  the  Creeks,  Cherokees,  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  were 
induced  to  take  up  arms  in  behalf  of  their  British  allies.  The 
Cherokee  Indians,  who  were  the  nearest  and  most  accessible  tribe 
to  the  white  settlers,  were  more  numerous  than  most  of  the  other 
Indian  tribes,  and  they  were  the  first  to  take  up  arms  at  the  instance 
of  the  British  agents. 

If  the  British  government  had  any  friends  among  the  back- 
woodsmen of  Fincastle  county,  this  action  was  of  such  a  character 
as  to  alienate  the  affection  and  respect  of  every  respectable  man. 
In  speaking  of  the  success  of  the  British  agents  in  this  matter, 
a  distinguished  author  has  said :  "Their  success  and  the  constant 
ravages  of  the  Indians  maddened  the  American  frontiersmen  upon 
whom  the  blow  fell,  and  changed  their  resentment  against  the 
British  king  into  a  deadly  and  lasting  hatred,  which  their  sons  and 
grandsons  inherited. 

Indian  warfare  was  of  such  peculiar  atrocity  that  the  employ- 
ment of  Indians  as  allies  forbade  any  further  hope  of  reconciliation. 
They  saw  their  homes  destroyed,  their  wives  outraged,  their  chil- 
dren captured,  their  friends  butchered  and  tortured  wholesale  by 
Indians  armed  with  British  weapons,  bribed  by  British  gold  and 
obeying  the  orders  of  British  agents  and  commanders."* 

♦Winning  of  the  West,  Part  II.,  p.  76. 

318  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

About  this  time  Colonel  Arthur  Campbell,  of  Fincastle  county, 
in  writing  of  this  action  of  the  British  Government,  in  arming  the 
Indian  tribes,  expressed  himself  as  follows :  "This  infernal  malig- 
nity of  a  professed  Christian  prince  was  reserved  to  be  exhibited  to 
the  world  in  the  reign  of  George  III." 

Alexander  Cameron,  the  British  agent  among  the  Cherokee 
Indians,  lost  dlo  time  in  calling  together  the  chiefs  and  warriors  of 
this  tribe  of  Indians,  to  inform  them  of  the  wishes  of  his  govern- 
ment. When  Cameron  disclosed  to  the  Indians  his  plans,  they 
were  greatly  astonished,  and  would  not,  for  some  time,  believe  the 
statement  of  Cameron,  that  one  part  of  the  white  people  wished  to 
wage  war  against  their  brothers,  for  a  civil  war  was  unknown 
between  Indians  speaking  the  same  language,  but  he  finally  suc- 
ceeded in  enlisting  the  Indians  by  promising  them  presents  in 
clothing  and  by  telling  them  that  they  could  plunder  and  rob  the 
settlers,  and  by  inducing  them  to  believe  that  all  the  lands  on  the 
western  waters  would  be  reserved  to  them  by  the  British  govern- 
ment as  their  hunting  grounds.  This  tribe  of  Indians  had  been 
acting  for  some  time  in  a  manner  that  clearly  indicated  that  they 
were  determined  upon  hostilities. 

In  the  spring  of  1775,  Andrew  Greer,  had  gone  to  the  Cherokee 
towns  to  purchase  furs.  While  there,  he  had  observed  the  conduct 
of  two  white  traders,  and  was  convinced  that  they  intended  to  do 
him  some  injury,  If  possible.  When  he  started  from  the  Indian 
towns  for  his  home,  he  left  the  main  trading  path  and  came  up  the 
Nolichucky  trace  and  escaped  injury,  but,  at  the  same  time,. two 
men  by  the  name  of  Boyd  and  Doggett,  who  had  been  sent  to  the 
Indian  towns  by  the  Virginia  authorities,  were  met  on  the  trace 
that  Greer  had  left,  at  Boyd's  creek,  by  Indians,  and  were  killed 
by  them  and  their  bodies  hidden.  The  Virginia  settlement  had 
long  been  at  peace  with  the  Indians,  but  they  were  sufficiently 
acquainted  with  their  character  to  know,  that,  having  once  tasted 
blood,  their  disposition  was  to  indulge  to  excess,  and  now  they  knew 
they  must  prepare  for  a  long  and  bloody  war  with  a  tribe  of  Indians 
that  exceeded  them  in  numbers.  T"hey  at  once  proceeded  to  put 
their  frontier  settlements  in  a  defensive  attitude.  A  fort  was  built 
at  Watauga,  to  which  Avas  given  the  name  of  Fort  Lee,  the  old  fort* 
at   Long   Island   was   repaired   and   called   Fort   Patrick   Henry. 

*Fort  Robinson. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786.  219 

Another  fort  was  erected  about  seven  miles  east  from  Long  Island, 
at  Amos  Eaton's,  on  the  trace  leading  to  Fort  Chiswell.  A  fort  was 
erected  shortly  before  this  time  at  Eye  Cove,  about  fifty  miles  from 
the  North  Fork  of  Clinch,  by  a  man  by  the  name  of  Isaac  Crismen, 
who  was,  afterwards,  with  two  members  of  his  family,  murdered  by 
the  Indians. 

Information  of  the  invasion  intended  by  the  Indians  was  for- 
warded to  the  Committee  of  Safety  of  Fincastle  county  by  Isaac 
Thomas,  an  Indian  trader,  at  the  instance  of  Nancy  Ward,  a  noted 
Indian  woman  and  a  relative  of  several  of  the  principal  chiefs. 
The  frontier  settlement,  at  this  day,  was  in  Carter's  Valley,  the 
settlers  obtaining  their  supplies  from  the  settlement  at  Wolf  Hill 
..-.^^(now  Abingdon). 

The  action  of  the  Virginia  Committee  of  Safety,  requiring  a 
test  oath  of  all  the  citizens  of  the  Commonwealth,  had  driven  many 
sympathizers  of  the  British  Government  to  this  settlement  in  Car- 
ter's Valley,  where  they  hoped  to  escape  the  consequences  of  their 
refusal  to  subscribe  to  the  oath,  but  information  of  their  presence 
was  obtained  by  John  Carter,  a  Virginian,  who  communicated  the 
information  he  had  obtained  to  the  settlers  near  Wolf  Hill.  These 
settlers  were  great  Whigs,  and,  upon  receiving  this  information,  a 
number  of  them  assembled  and  went  to  Brown's  settlement  in  Car- 
ter's Valley,  and  after  having  assembled  the  people,  John  Coulter, 
a  member  of  the  county  court  of  this  county,  administered  to  them 
an  oath  to  be  faithful  to  the  common  cause.  Early  in  May,  the 
settlers  in  Carter's  Valley  and  all  the  families  below  the  North 
Fork  of  the  Holston,  in  view  of  the  threatened  Indian  invasion, 
left  their  homes  and  returned  to  the  settlements.  To  add  to  the 
alarm  of  the  frontier  settlers,  a  letter  was  delivered  at  the  house 
of  Charles  Eobertson,  on  the  18th  day  of  May,  1776,  under  circum- 
stances that  were  exceedingly  suspicious;  which  letter  accompanied 

by  the  affidavit  of  Nathan  Eeed,  was  as  f oIIom^s  :  "Wattaga 

This  day,  Nathan  Eeed  came  before  me,  one  of  the  justices  of  Wat- 
taga,  and  made  oath  on  the  Holy  Evangelists  of  Almighty  God, 
that  a  stranger  came  up  to  Charles  Eobertson's  gate  yesterday  even- 
ing— who  he  was  he  did  not  know — and  delivered  a  letter  of  which 
this  is  a  true  copy.  Sworn  before  me  the  19th  of  May,  1776. 
Attest,  James  Smith.  John  Carter." 

"Gentlemen: — Some  time  ago,  Mr.  Cameron  and  myself  wrote 

220  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

you  a  letter  by  Mr.  Thomas,  and  enclosed  a  talk  we  had  with  the 
Indians  resjwcting  the  purchase  which  is  reported  you  lately  m-J.dc- 
of  them  on  the  rivers  Wattaga,  Nolichucky.  We  are  since  informed 
that  you  are  under  great  apprenhension  of  the  Indians  doing  mis- 
cirief  immediately.  But  it  is  not  the  desire  of  his  Majesty  to  =iet 
bis  friends  and  allies,  the  Indians,  on  his  liege  subjects:  therefore 
whoever  you  are,  that  are  willing  to  join  his  Majesty's  forces  as 
soon  as  they  arrive  at  the  Cherokee  nation,  by  repairing  to  the 
King's  standard,  shall  find  protection  for  themselves  and  their 
families  and  be  free  from  all  danger  whatever;  yet,  that  his 
Majesty's  oflficers  may  be  certain  which  of  you  are  willing  to  take 
up  arms  in  his  Majesty's  just  right,  I  have  thought  fit  to  recom- 
mend it  to  you  and  every  one  that  is  desirous  of  preventing  in- 
evitable ruin  to  themselves  and  families,  immediately  to  subscribe 
a  written  paper  acknowledging  their  allegiance  to  his  Majesty 
King  George,  and  that  they  are  ready  and  willing,  whenever  called 
on,  to  appear  in  arms  in  defence  of  the  British  right  in  America ; 
which  paper,  as  soon  as  it  is  signed  and  sent  to  me  safe  by  hand, 
should  any  of  the  inhabitants  be  desirous  of  knowing  how  they  are 
to  be  free  from  every  kind  of  insult  and  danger,  inform  them  that 
his  Majesty  will  immediately  land  an  army  in  West  Florida,  march 
them  through  the  Creek  to  the  Chickasaw  nation,  where  five  hun- 
dred warriors  from  each  nation  are  to  join  them,  and  then  come 
by  Chota,  who  have  promised  their  assistance,  and  then  to  take  pos- 
session of  the  frontiers  of  North  Carolina  and  Virginia,  at  the 
same  time  that  his  Majesty's  forces  make  a  diversion  on  the  sea 
coast  of  those  Provinces.  If  any  of  the  inhabitants  have  any  beef, 
cattle,  flour,  pork  or  horses  to  spare,  they  shall  have  a  good  price 
for  them  by  applying  to  us,  as  soon  as  his  Majesty's  troops  are  em- 
bodied. I  am  yours,  &c., 

"Henry  Stuart.'" 

Henry  Stuart  was  the  Deputy  Superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs 
for  the  British  Government,  and  in  this  capacity  he  wrote  this  let- 
ter. This  letter  did  not  accomplish  its  purpose,  and  only  had  the 
effect  of  exciting  the  settlers  to  more  vigorous  efforts  to  resist  the 
plans  of  the  agents  of  the  British  crown.  On  the  8th  of  June  Jar- 
rett  Williams,  an  Indian  trader,  returned  to  the  Virginia  settle- 
ment from  the  Cherokee  towns  and  gave  further  information  as  to 
the  intention  of  the  Indians,  which  information  was  embodied  in 

Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786.  221 


an  affidavit  given  before  Anthony  Bledsoe,  a  justice  of  the  peace  of 
Fincastle  county.    The  affidavit  was  as  follows : 

"Fincastle,  ss. — The  deposition  of  Jarret  Williams  taken  before 
me,  Anthony  Bledsoe,  a  justice  of  the  peace  for  the  county  afore- 
said, being  first  sworn  on  the  Holy  Evangelists  of  Almighty  God, 
deposeth  and  saith :  That  he  left  the  Cherokee  nation  on  Monday 
night,  the  8th  inst.  (July)  ; 

"That  the  part  of  the  nation  called  the  Over-Hills  were  then 
preparing  to  go  to  war  against  the  frontiers  of  Virginia,  having 
purchased  to  the  amount  of  1,000  skins  or  thereabouts,  for  mocka- 
sons.  They  were  also  beating  flour  for  a  march,  and  making  other 
warlike  preparations.  Their  number,  from'  calculation  made  by 
the  Eaven  Warrior,  amoimts  to  about  six  hundred  warriors;  and, 
according  to  the  deponent's  idea,  he  thinks  we  may  expect  a  gen- 
eral attack  any  hour.  They  propose  to  take  away  negroes  and 
horses,  and  to  kill  all  kinds  of  sheep,  cattle,  &c. ;  also  to  de- 
stroy all  corn,  burn  houses,  &c.  And  he  also  heard  that  the 
Valley  towns  were,  a  part  of  them,  set  off;  but  that  they  had 
sent  a  runner  to  stop  them  till  all  were  ready  to  start.  He 
further  relates  that  Alexander  Cameron  informed  them  that  he 
had  concluded  to  send  Captain  Nathaniel  Guist,  William  Paulin, 
Isaac  Williams  and  the  deponent  with  the  Indians,  till  they 
came  near  to  jSTolichucky,  then  the  Indians  were  to  stop  and  Guest 
and  the  other  whites  above  mentioned  were  to  go  to  see  if  there 
were  any  King's  men  among  the  inhabitants;  and  if  they  found 
any  they  were  to  take  them  off  to  the  Indians  or  have  a  white  sig- 
nal in  their  hands,  or  otherwise  to  distinguish  them.  When  this 
was  done  they  were  to  fall  on  the  inhabitants  and  kill  and  drive 
all  they  possibly  could. 

"That  on  Saturday,  the  6tli  inst.,  in  the  night,  he  heard  two 
prisoners  were  brought  in  about  midnight,  but  the  deponent  saw 
only  one.  That  the  within  Williams  saw  only  one  scalp  brought 
by  a  party  of  Indians,  with  a  prisoner;  but,  from  accounts,  they 
had  five  scalps.  He  also  says  he  heard  the  prisoner  examined  by 
Cameron,  thought  he  gave  a  very  imperfect  account,  being  very 
much  cast  down.  He  further  says  that  the  Cherokees  had  received 
the  war-belt  from  the  Shawnese,  Mingo,  Taawah  and  Delaware 
nations,  to  strike  the  white  people.  That  fifteen  of  the  said  na- 
tions were  in  the  Cherokee  towns,  and  that  few  of  the  Cherokees 

222  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

■  • 
went  in  company  with  the  Shawnese,  &c.     That  they  all  intended 

to  strike  the  settlers  in  Kentucky;  and  that  the  Cherokees  gave 
the  Shawnese  four  scalps  of  white  men,  which  they  had  carried 
away  with  them.  The  said  Shawnese  and  Mingoes  informed  the 
Cherokees  that  they  were  then  at  peace  with  every  other  nation ; 
that  the  French  were  to  supply  them  with  ammunition,  and  that 
they  wanted  the  Cherokees  to  join  them  to  strike  the  white  peo- 
ple on  the  frontiers,  which  the  Cherokees  have  agreed  to. 

"And  the  deponent  further  saith  that,  before  he  left  the  nation, 
a  number  of  the  Cherokees  of  the  Lower  Towns  were  gone  to  fall 
on  the  frontiers  of  South  Carolina  and  Georgia ;  and  further  saith 
not.  Jarrett  Williams/'' 

Signed  before  Anthony  Bledsoe. 

The  settlers  on  the  waters  of  tlie  Holston  and  Clinch  were  greatly 
aroused  by  the  information  received,  and  the  militia  was  or- 
ganized and  armed  for  the  purpose  of  resisting  the  contemplated 
expedition  planned  by  Cameron,  the  British  agent.  The  reader 
must  remember  that  all  the  settlements  as  low  down  as  Carter's 
Valley,  and  including  the  settlement  at  Watauga,  were  governed 
by  Virginia  laws  at  this  time,  and  expected  and  received  protec- 
tion from  the  authorities  of  Fincastle  county  in  Virginia. 

Upon  the  receipt  of  this  information  the  Watauga  committee 
sent  an  express  to  Colonel  William  Preston,  the  county  lieutenant 
of  Fincastle  county,  detailing  to  him  their  situation  and  requesting 
the  assistance  of  the  authorities  and  supplies  of  lead  and  powder. 
Colonel  Preston  replied  to  this  letter  on  June  3d  as  follows : 

"Gentlemen, — Your  letter  of  the  30th  ult.  with  the  deposition  of 
Mr.  Bryan,  came  to  hand  this  evening  by  your  messenger.  The 
news  is  really  alarming,  with  regard  to  the  disposition  of  the  In- 
dians, who  are  doubtless  advised  to  break  with  the  white  people, 
by  the  enemies  to  American  liberty  who  reside  among  them.  But 
T  cannot  conceive  that  you  have  anything  to  fear  from  the  pre- 
tended invasion  by  British  troops,  by  the  route  they  mention. 
This  must,  in  my  opinion,  be  a  scheme  purposely  calculated  to  in- 
timidate the  inhabitants,  either  to  abandon  their  plantations  or 
turn  enemies  to  their  country,  neither  of  which  I  hope  it  will  be 
able  to  effect. 

"Our  Convention,  on  the  14th  of  May,  ordered  500  poimds  of  gun- 
powder to  each  of  the  counties  of  Fincastle,  Botetourt,  Augusta,  and 

Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  223 

West  Augusta,  ,  and  double  that  quantity  of 

lead They  likewise  ordered  100  men  to  be  forthwith 

raised  in  Fincastle,  to  be  stationed  where  our  committee  directs  for 

the  protection  of  the  frontier I  sent  the  several  letters 

and  depositions  you  furnished  me,  from  which  it  is  reasonable  to 
belie\e  that  when  all  these  shall  have  been  examined  vigorous  meas- 
ures will  be  adopted  for  our  protection. 

"I  have  already  advertised  our  committee  to  meet  at  Fort  Chis- 
well  on  Tuesday  the  11th  instant,  and  have  directed  the  candidates 
for  commissions  in  the  new  companies  to  exert  themselves  in  engag- 
ing the  number  of  men  required  until  then.  I  much  expect  we  shall 
have  further  news  from  Williamsburg  by  the  time  the  committee 
meets.  I  have  written  toi  Colonel  Calloway  the  second  time  for  200 
pounds  of  lead,  which  I  hope  he  will  deliver  the  bearer.  This  re- 
ply will,  I  hope,  be  some  relief  to  j'our  distressed  settlement,  and,  as 
I  said  before,  should  more  be  wantecf  I  am  convinced  you  may  be 
supplied.  I  am  fully  convinced  that  the  expense  will  be  repaid 
you  by  the  Convention  of  Virginia  or  North  Carolina  on  a  fair  rep- 
resentation of  the  case  being  laid  before  them,  whichsoever  of  them 
takes  your  settlement  under  protection,  as  there  is  not  the  least 
reason  that  any  one  part  of  the  colony  should  be  at  any  extraor- 
dinary expense  in  the  defence  of  the  whole,  and  you  may  be  as- 
sured you  cannot  be  overstocked  with  that  necessary  article,  for 
should  it  please  Providence  that  the  impending  storm  should  blow 
over,  and  there  would  be  no  occasion  to  use  the  ammunition  in  the 
general  defense,  then  it  might  be  sold  out  to  individuals,  and  the 
expense  of  the  whole  be  reimbursed  to  those  who  so  generously  con- 
tributed towards  the  purchase. 

"I  am,  with  the  most  sincere  wishes  for  the  safety  of  your  settle- 
ment, your  most  obedient  and  very  humble  servant, 

"Wm.  Pkeston." 

The  information  brought  by  Thomas  to  the  settlement  was  to  the 
effect  that  seven  hundred  warriors  were  to  attack  the  white  settle- 
ments in  two  divisions  of  three  hundred  and  fifty  each,  led  by 
Dragging  Canoe  and  Oconostota.  The  one  commanded  by  Ocono- 
stota  was  to  attack  the  Watauga  settlements,  while  the  other,  com- 
manded by  Dragging  Canoe,  was  to  attack  and  break  up  the  settle- 
ments between  the  North  and  South  fork  of  the  Holston  river. 

224  Southivest  Virginia,  17Jt6-1786. 

Battle  of  Long  Island  Flats. 

Upon  the  receipt  of  this  news  a  few  of  the  militia  hastily  as- 
sembled and  proceeded  to  Amos  Eaton's,  the  frontier  hoiise,  about 
fifteen  miles  in  advance  of  tlie  settlement,  and  began  to  build  a 
kind  of  stockade  fort  with  fence-rails,  and  after  some  time  a 
breast-work  was  completed  suflicient  to  repel  a  considerable  number. 
Thereupon  expresses  were  sent  to  'J'hompson's  Fort,  now  on  the 
Ihiff  farm,  in  the  upper  end  of  this  county;  to  Edmiston's  Fort, 
now  near  Lodi,  Virginia;  to  Cocke's  Fort,  on  Spring  Creek;  to 
Shelby's  Fort,  on  Holston  river,  and  to  the  settlements"**near  Wolf 
Hills,  and  on  the  following  morning  about  one  hundred  and  seventy 
men  reported  at  Eaton's  Fort  under  the  command  of : 

James  Thompson,  James  Shelby, 

\  William  Buchanan,  John  Campbell, 

William  Cocke,  Thomas  Madison. 

On  the  19th  day  of  July,  17 76,  the  scouts  returned  to  Eaton's 
Fort  and  reported  that  a  great  number  of  Indians  were  making 
into  the  settlements. 

Upon  the  receipt  of  tliis  information  it  was  debated  as  to  the 
prudent  course  to  pursue,  to  await  the  coming  of  the  Indians  in 
the  fort  or  to  march  out  and  meet  them  in  the  woods  and  fight  them 
wherever  they  could  be  found.  Capt.  William  Cocke  argued  that 
the  Indians  would  not  attack  them  in  the  fort,  but  would  pass 
by  and  assail  the  settlements,  killing  and  butchering  and  carrying 
off  the  property,  and  proposed  to  march  out  and  meet  the  enemy. 
The  proposition  made  by  Captain  Cocke  prevailed,  and  the  entire 
company,  consisting  of  one  hundred  and  seventy  men,  marched 
from  the  fort  in  tlie  direction  of  Long  Island,  which  was  about 
seven  miles  distant.  This  company  marched  in  two  divisions,  with 
flankers  on  each  side  and  scouts  before,  and  had  proceeded  not  more 
than  five  miles  when  they  discovered  about  twenty  Indians  meet- 
ing them,  upon  whom  they  fired.  The  Indians  returned  the  fire, 
whcT-eupon  the  white  men  rushed  upon  them  and  put  them  to  flight. 
Ten  bundles  and  a  good  deal  of  plunder  were  captured  by  the  white 
men,  and  it  was  thought  that  some  of  the  Indians  were  wounded. 
The  ground  where  this  skirmish  took  place  was  not  very  advantage- 
ous for  a  pursuit,  and  the  men  -were  with  great  difficulty  restrained 
from  pursuing  the  Indians.    A  council  was  held,  and  it  was  decided 

Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786.  225 

to  return,  as  the  officers  had  good  reason  to  believe  that  a  large 
part}^  of  Indians  were  not  a  great  way  off.  They  accordingly  re- 
turned, and  had  not  marched  more  than  a  mile  when  they  heard  a 
noise  like  distant  thunder,  and  looking  around  they  saw  the  whole 
Indian  force  running  upon  them  at  full  speed,  whereupon  they 
made  a  hasty  retreat  to  an  eminence,  where  they  rallied,  and  Cap- 
tain Thompson,  the  officer  in  command,  ordered  that  the  right  line 
form  for  battle  to  the  right  and  the  left  line  to  the  left,  and  to  face 
.  the  enemy. 

In  attempting  to  obey  the  orders  of  Captain  Thompson,  the  head 
of  the  right  line  bore  too  much  along  the  road  leading  in  the  direc- 
tion of  the  station,  and  Lieutenant  Eobert  Davis,  perceiving  that 
the  Indians  were  trying  to  outflank  them,  took  a  part  of  the  line 
and  formed  them  as  quickly  as  possible  on  the  right,  across  the  flat 
to  the  ridge,  preventing  the  Indians  from  accomplishing  their  pur- 
]jose.  The  officers  and  many  of  the  men  exhibited  in  this  battle  a 
heroism  almost  unexampled,  ^^'hen  the  Indians  began  their  attack, 
it  was  with  great  fury,  those  in  front  halloing,  "The  Unacas  are  run- 
ning. Come  on  and  scalp  them."  The  Indian  attack  was  made 
upon  the  centre  and  the  left  flank  of  the  whites  at  the  same  time, 
and  as  a  result  the  troops  were  thrown  into  great  confusion,  and  it 
was  found  almost  impossible  to  form  the  troops  in  the  face  of  the 
Indian  attacks.  Whereupon  Capt.  James  Shelby,  stepping  to  the 
front,  ordered  the  several  companies  to  go  to  the  rear  and  reform 
their  ranks,  while  he,  accompanied  by  Lieut.  Wm.  Moore,  Robert 
Edmiston,  John  Morrison  and  John  Findlay,  kept  the  Indians  at 

Gilmore,  in  his  ''.Rear  Guard  of  the  Revolution,"  makes  the  state-, 
ment  that  Edmiston,  in  a  hand-to-hand  fight,  slew  three  or  four 
Indians,  Morrison  as  many  more,  and  that  Moore  became  engaged 
in  a  desperate  struggle  with  a  herculean  Indian  chieftain,  and,  as 
if  by  general  consent,  the  Indians  paused  to  await  its  issue.  This 
delay,  no  doubt,  saved  much  loss  of  life  among  the  one  hundred  and 
seventy.  It  lasted  for  some  minutes,  but  ended  by  Moore  sinking 
his  tomahawk  into  the  brain  of  the  Indian.  The  whites,  in  the 
meantime,  had  formed  their  line  of  battle  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile 
long  and  began  to  pour  a  destructive  fire  into  the  Cherokees  from 
cover  whenever  possible.  The  Indians,  having  witnessed  the  end 
of  the  conflict  between  Moore  and  their  chieftain,  made  a  rapid 

22G  Southwest  Virginia,  17J^6-1786. 

advance  upon  Shelby  and  his  companions,  who,  about  this  time, 
began  to  fall  back  to  their  line.  Whereupon  the  Indians  made  a 
furious  asssault  upon  Robert  Edmiston,  wlio  held  a  position  in  the 
centre  of  the  line,  during  which  assault  it  was  afterwards  charged 
that  Edmiston  used  profane  language,  upon  which  charge  he  was 
tried  by  the  Ebbing  Spring  Presb3i;erian  congregation.  The  en- 
gagement lasted  from  one-half  to  three-quarters  of  an  hour,  when 
the  Indians  disappeared  as  if  by  magic,  leaving  the  wliite  men 
masters  of  the  situation.  Thirteen  dead  Indians  were  found  on  the 
ground,  and  many  more  might  have  been  found  if  search  had  been 
made  for  them,  for  many  trails  of  blood  were  seen  where  the  dead 
had  been  carried  off  or  the  wounded  escaped.  It  is  wonderful  to 
record  the  fact  that  no  white  man  was  killed  in  this  battle  and  only 
four  slightly  wounded.  The  names  of  the  white  men  wounded  in 
this  battle  are,  so  far  as  I  can  ascertain,  Joshua  Jones  and  John 

We  here  give  a  report  of  this  engagement  made  by  the  captains  in 
command  to  Col.  William  Preston,  the  county  lieutenant  of  Fin- 
castle  county: 

"On  the  19th  our  scouts  returned  and  informed  us  that  they  had 
discovered  where  a  great  number  of  Indians  were  making  into  the 
settlements,  upon  which  alarm  the  few  men  stationed  at  Eaton's 
completed  a  breast-work  sufficiently  strong,  with  the  assistance  of 
what  men  were  there,  to  have  repelled  a  considerable  number ;  sent 
expresses  to  the  different  stations  and  collected  all  the  forces  in 
one  body,  and  the  moTning  after  about  one  hundred  aaid  seventy 
turned  out  in  search  of  the  enemy.  We  marched  in  two  divisions, 
with  flankers  on  each  side  and  scouts  before.  Our  scouts  discov- 
ered upwards  of  twenty  meeting  us,  and  fired  on  them.  They  re- 
turned the  fire,  but  our  men  rushed  on  them  with  such  violence  that 
they  were  obliged  to  make  a  precipitate  retreat.  We  took  ten  bundles 
and  a  good  deal  of  plunder,  and  had  great  reason  to  think  some  of 
them  were  wounded.  This  small  skirmish  happened  on  ground 
very  disadvantageous  for  our  men  to  pursue,  though  it  was  with 
the  greatest  difficulty  our  officers  could  restrain  their  men.  A  coun- 
cil was  held,  and  it  was  thought  advisable  to  return,  as  we  imagined 
there  was  a  large  party  not  far  off.  We  accordingly  returned,  and 
had  not  marched  more  than  a  mile  when  a  number,  not  inferior  to 
ours,  attacked  us  in  the  rear.    Our  men  sustained  the  attack  with 

Southwest  Virginia,  17 46-17 S6.  337 

great  bravery  and  intrepidity,  immediately  forming  a  line.  The 
Indians  endeavored  to  surround  us,  but  were  prevented  by  the  un- 
common fortitude  and  vigilance  of  Capt.  James  Shelby,  who  took 
possession  of  an  eminence  that  prevented  their  design.  Our  line  of 
battle  extended  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile.  We  killed  about  thir- 
teen on  the  spot,  whom  we  found,  and  we  have  the  greatest  reason 
to  believe  that  we  could  have  found  a  great  many  more  had  we  had 
time  to  search  for  them.  There  were  streams  of  blood  every  way, 
and  it  was  generally  thought  tJiere  was  never  so  much  execution 
done  in  so  short  a  time  on  the  frontiers.  Never  did  troops  fight  with 
greater  calmness  than  ours  did.  The  Indians  attacked  us  with  the 
greatest  fury  imaginable,  and  made  the  most  vigorous  efforts  to  sur- 
round us.  Our  spies  really  deserve  the  greatest  applause.  We  took 
a  great  deal  of  plunder  and  many  guns,  and  had  only  four  men 
greatly  wounded.  The  rest  of  the  troops  are  in  high  spirits  and 
eager  for  another  engagement.  We  have  the  greatest  reason  to  be- 
lieve they  are  pouring  in  great  numbers  on  us,  and  beg  the  assistance 
of  our  friends. 

.  "James  Thompson,  "John  Campbell, 

"James  Shelby,  "William  Cocke, 

"William  Buchanan,  "Thomas  Madison." 

Several  incidents  are  related  as  having  taken  place  before  and 
during  this  battle  that  we  here  give  as  they  have  l)een  preserved, 
without  vouching  for  the  truth  thereof.  Benjamin  Sharp,  in  a 
letter  published  in  the  American  Pioneer,  gives  an  incident  as  oc- 
curring during  the  battle.  He  says :  "An  Alexander  Moore,  a  strong, 
athletic,  active  man,  by  some  means,  got  into  close  contact  with  an 
Indian  of  nearly  his  own  size  and  strength.  My  brother-in-law,  Wil- 
liam King,  seeing  Moore's  situation,  ran  up  to  his  relief,  but  the 
Indian  adroitly  kept  Moore  in  such  a  position  that  King  could  not 
shoot  him  without  hurting  Moore.  The  Indian  had  a  large  knife 
suspended  at  his  belt,  for  the  possession  of  which  they  both  struggled, 
Ijut  at  length  Moore  succeeded  and  plunged  it  into  the  Indian's 
l)owels.  He  then  broke  his  hold  and  sprang  off  of  Moore,  and  King 
shot  him  through  the  head." 

Several  historians  make  the  statement  that  William  Cocke,  one 
of  the  captains  upon  this  expedition,  was  charged  with  cowardice 
by  a  number  of  the  militia  immediately  after  a  coimcil  of  the 

238  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

officers,  had  decided  to  return  to  Fort  Eaton  instead  of  pursuing  the 
twenty  Indians  first  discovered,  and  that  Captain  Cocke,  soon  after 
the  return  march  had  begun  for  Eaton's  Fort,  halted  the  line  and 
delivered  a  speech  in  defence  of  his  reputation.  We  cannot  imagine 
the  reason  why  the  charge  should  have  been  made,  but  from  an  ex- 
amination of  the  records  of  the  Virginia  Privy  Council  it  appears 
that  on  December  9,  1776,  the  following  order  was  entered: 

"It  appearing  from  the  deposition  of  Thomas  Madison,  Esq., 
tliat  there  are  grounds  to  suspect  Capt.  William  Cocke  of  cowardice 
in  a  late  action  with  the  Indians,  it  is  therefore  ordered  that  the 
said  Captain  Cocke  be  forthwith  suspended;  that  the  Governor  be 
requested  to  write  to  the  county  lieutenant  of  Fincastle  directing 
]iim  to  hold  a  court  of  inquiry  touching  the  conduct  of  said  Captain 
Cocke,  and  to  transmit  to  this  board  a  copy  of  the  same." 

I  cannot  ascertain  what  disposition  was  made  of  this  charge 
against  Captain  Cocke,  but  I  am  compelled  to  believe  that  he  was 
acquitted,  for  he  was  afterwards  elected  to  the  General  Assembly  of 

-^A'irginia  from  Washington  county,  and  in  a  few  years  thereafter 
became  one  of  the  first  United  States  senators  from  the  State  of 

The  result  of  this  victory  was  not  only  the  destruction  of  a  num- 
ber of  the  Indian  warriors  and  the  wounding  of  tlieir  savage  chief, 
Dragging  Canoe,  but  it  inspired  the  settlers  with  confidence  in  them- 
selves and  a  contempt  of  danger  from  the  Indians.  It  is  said  that 
ever  afterwards  the  inquiry  among  the  white  settlers  when  in  search 
of  the  Indians  was  not  "how  many  of  them  are  there,"  but  "where 
are  they  to  be  found  ?"  On  the  same  day  that  the  battle  was  fought 
at  the  Long  Island  Flats  another  body  of  Indians  attacked  Fort 
Lee  at  Watauga,  in  which  fort  were  Capt.  James  Eobertson  and 
forty  others.  But  the  Indians  were  repulsed  with  some  loss  by  the 
fire  from  the  fort,  but  for  three  weeks  skulked  around  the  fort, 
during  which  time  a  man  and  a  boy,  who  had  ventured  to  leave  the 
fort,  were  assailed  by  the  Indians  and  captured,  and  the  man  scalped 
on  the  spot.  The  boy,  who  was  a  brother  of  Lieut.  Wm.  Moore, 
was  reserved  for  a  worse  fate,  he  being  afterwards  burned  at  the 
stake  by  the  Indians.  Mrs.  Wm.  Bean,  who  lived  on  Boone's  creek, 
was  captured  by  the  Indians,  but  was  subsequently  released  through 
the  influence  of  Nancy  Ward. 

^      Colonel  Eussell,  who  was  located  at  Fort  Patrick  Henry,  was 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  229 

ordered  to  go,  with  five  companies  of  militia,  to  the  relief  of  Fort 
Lee,  but  he  was  so  slow  that  Col.  Evan  Shelby  raised  a  company  of 
about  one  hundred  men  in  the  vicinity  of  Wolf  Hills  and  proceeded 
to  Watauga,  where  he  found  the  inhabitants  in  their  fort  and  the 
Indians  gone. 

After  the  battle  at  Long  Island  Flats  the  Virginia  militia  re- 
turned to  the  fort  and  the  men  dispersed  to  their  several  homes  to 
take  care  of  their  families  and  property.  In  the  meantime  all  the 
frontier  settlements  were  breaking  up  and  the  settlers  fleeing  from 
every  quarter.  The  main  road  or  trace  was  crowded  with  people 
moving  with  the  greatest  haste  to  escape  the  invading  Indians.  At 
the  farm  of  Capt.  Joseph  Black,  where  Abingdon  now  stands,  be- 
tween four  and  five  hundred  people  collected  together  to  build  a 

The  erection  of  Black^s  Fort  was  begun  on  the  30th  day  of  July, 
1776,  the  same  day  that  the  battle  of  Long  Island  Flats  was  fought, 
and  the  news  of  the  victory  of  the  settlers  in  that  battle  was  received 
the  next  day..  Upon  the  receipt  of  this  news  all  business  was  sus- 
pended, while  the  Eev.  Charles  Cummings  offered  up  a  prayer 
of  thanksgiving,  in  which  all  the  people  heartily  joined.  The  defeat 
of  the  Indians,  at  the  Long  Island  did  not  end  the  trouble  of  the 
settlers  on  the  Holston.  About  the  time  that  the  battle  was  fought 
a  party  of  Indians  came  up  the  Clinch  river  burning  all  the  prop- 
erty and  killing  and  scalping  all  the  settlers  that  they  could  find. 
Dividing  themselves  into  small  bodies,  they  invaded  the  settlements 
from  the  lower  end  of  what  is  now  the  present  county  of  Sullivan, 
in  Tennessee,  to  the  Seven  Mile  Ford,  in  Virginia.  About  the  24th 
of  July,  1776,  Capt.  James  Montgomery,  who  had  settled  on  the 
south  fork  of  Holston  river,  about  eight  miles  from  Black's  Fort, 
came  to  the  fort,  he  and  two  other  families  having  decided  to  defend 
their  own  homes.  He  came  in  quest  of  intelligence,  and  was 
earnestly  besought  by  the  people  of  the  fort  to  bring  in  the  families, 
to  which  he  agreed,  and  men  and  horses  were  sent  to  assist  him. 
This  company  soon  returned  toi  the  fort  with  the  families  and  some 
of  their  property,  and  went  back  to  bring  in  the  rest  of  the  prop- 
erty when,  to  their  surprise,  they  found  the  houses  plundered  and  in 
flames.  The  company  thereupon  hastily  retreated  to  the  fort,  and 
spies  were  sent  out  to  locate  the  Indians  if  possible,  but  no  dis- 
coveries were  made  for  some  days,  when  at  length  the  spies  came  in 

330  Southiuest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

one  night  and  reported  that  they  had  discovered  a  fire  on  the  bank 
of  the  river  above  Montgomery's  which  they  supposed  to  be  the 
Indian  camp.* 

Upon  receipt  of  this  informaiion  an  express  was  sent  to  Bryan's 
Fort  requesting  their  men  to  meet  the  men  from  Black's  Fort  at  a 
certain  place  that  night.  The  two  companies  met  according  to 
agreement,  and  the  spies  conducted  them  to  the  spot  where  they 
had  seen  the  fire,  when  the  Indians  were  surrounded  from  the  river 
below  to  the  river  above  them,  with  strict  injunctions  to  ,the  men  to 
preserve  a  profound  silence  till  the  report  of  the  captain's  gun 
should  give  the  signal  for  a  general  discharge;  and  in  this  position 
they  waited  for  daylight.  At  the  dawn  of  day,  when  tlie  Indians 
arose  and  began  to  stir  about  the  camp,  the  crack  of  the  captain's 
rifle  was  followed  by  a  well-directed  fire  from  every  quarter.  The 
Indians  fled  across  the  river,  exposed  all  the  way  to  the  fire  of  the 
whites.  Eleven  Indians  lay  dead  at  and  around  the  camp,  and  the 
number  that  fell  and  sank  in  the  river  is  not  known.  The  men 
crossed  the  river  and  found  numerous  trails  of  blood,  one  of  which 
they  followed  to  where  an  Indian  had  crept  into  a  hollow  log,  wliom 
they  drew  out  by  his  feet,  and,  according  to  his  request,  shot  him  in 
the  head.  As  a  result  of  this  slaughter  of  Indians  the  settlers  at 
Black's  Fort  were  greatly  rejoiced,  and  the  eleven  Indian  scalps 
were  attached  to  a  long  pole  and  fixed  as  a  trophy  over  the  fort 
gates,  f  Several  days  thereafter  tliree  companies  prepared  to  go  out 
from  the  fort  to  visit  their  plantations  and  on  other  missions.  The 
first  company  to  leave  the  fort  was  composed  of  John  Sharp,  his  t\vr, 
sons,  and  two  sons-in-law.  They  went  early  and  were  tmmolested. 
The  second  company  to  leave  the  fort  on  that  day  was  composed  oP 
Arthur  Blackburn,  William  Casey  and  his  sister  Nancy,  who  was 
about  sixteen  years  of  age,  Eobert  Harold  and  several  others,  and 
about  the  same  time  a  third  company  left  the  fort  to'  visit  the  hoii.-e 
of  Rev.  Charles  Cummings  to  bring  his  books  and  some  of  his  prop- 
erty into  the  fort.  Both  of  these  parties  were  attacked  by  the 
Indians  at  the  same  time  within  hearing  of  the  fort,  where  an  inde- 
scribable scene  of  disorder  took  place,  the  women  and  children 
screaming,  wives  clinging  to  their  husbands,  mothers  to  their  sons 

*This  oamp  was  on  the  Mahaffey  farm. 

fBenj.  Sharp  letter,  published  in  American  Pioneer.    He  was  an  occupant 
of  the  fort  at  the  time. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  231 

and  sisters  to  their  brothers,  to  prevent  them  from  going  ont  of  the 

However,  a  number  of  them  left  the  fort  and  ran  to  the  rescue 
of  the  companies  as  fast  as  possible,  but  before  they  arrived  upon 
the  scene  the  Indians  had  done  their  work  and  gone.  Of  the  second 
company  to  leave  the  fort  Arthur  Blackburn  was  shot,  tomahawked, 
and  scalped,  but  was  found  alive,  broaight  in,  and  recovered  from 
his  wounds.  Along  with  this  same  company  was  William  Casey 
and  his  sister  Nancy,  a  beautiful  little  girl  about  sixteen  years  of 
age.  As  Casey  was  running  for  his  life  to  the  fort  he  discovered 
the  Indians  in  hot  pursuit  of  his  sister,  and  seeing  Eobert  Harold, 
another  young  man,  close  by,  he  called  to  him  to  come  and  help  him 
save  Nancy.  Harold  obeyed,  and,  although  there  were  from  four 
to  seven  Indians  in  pursuit,  these  young  men  rushed  between  them 
and  the  girl,  and  by  dexterously  managing  to  fire  alternately,  still 
keeping  one  gun  loaded  when  tlie  other  was  discharged,  they  kept 
the  Indians  at  bay  till  they  gave  up  the  pursuit  and  the  girl  was 
brought  in  safe.  The  author  of  this  account  says,  "Such  acts  of  gen- 
erous bravery  ought  at  all  times  be  held  as  examples  to  our  youth." 

The  third  company  was  composed  of  the  Rev.  Charles  Cum- 
mings,  his  servant  Job,  William  Creswell,  the  driver,  James  Piper 
and  one  other;  and  when  they  had  reached  a  point  called  Piper's 
Hill,  they  were  attacked  by  a  band  of  Indians,  and  at  the  first  fire 
William  Creswell,  who  had  taken  part  in  the  battle  of  Long  Island 
Flats,  was  killed  and  two  of  the  other  men  were  wounded,  James 
Piper  having  his  finger  shot  off,  but  the  Rev.  Charles  Cummings, 
with  the  remaining  man,  and  his  servant  Job,  held  the  Indians 
at  bay  until  he  obtained  help  from  Black's  Fort,  when  he  brought 
off  the  wounded  men  in  safety.  William  Creswell  was  buried  near 
the  Presbyterian  church,  now  Sinking  Spring  Cemetery,  where  his 
grave  may  be  seen  at  this  day  marked  by  a  rude  tombstone.  An 
exact  reproduction  of  the  inscription  thereon  is  here  given : 

William  Creswell 

entered  this  place 

July,  1776. 

It  has  been  stated  that  this  is  the  oldest  known  grave  in  this  sec- 
tion, but  such  is  not  the  fact.  Poston's  graveyard  is  situated  on  a 
high  knob  in  close  proximity  to  the  falls  of  the  north  fork  of  Holston 

232  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

river,  in  this  county,  and  in  the  graveyard  is  found  a  grave  marked 
by  a  iimestone  rock  upon  which  is  inscribed,  "Mary  Boyd,  died  Feby. 
17,  1773,  aged  3  years.  Alexander  Boyd's  child."  Tradition  says 
that  this  death  occurred  by  the  capsizing  of  Boyd's  boat  in  passing 
over  the  falls,  Boyd  at  the  time  emigrating  to  the  extreme  frontiers. 

From  the  period  that  Mr.  Cummings  commenced  preaching  in 
the  Holston  settlements  up  to  the  time  of  this  attack  the  men  never 
went  to  church  without  being  armed  and  taking  their  families  with 
them.  On  Sabbath  morning  during  most  of  this  period  it  was  the 
custom  of  Mr.  Cummings  to  dress  himself  neatly,  put  on  his  shot 
pouch,  shoulder  his  rifle,  mount  his  horse  and  ride  off  to  church, 
where  he  met  his  gallant  and  intelligent  congregation,  each  man 
with  his  rifle  in  his  hand.  The  minister  would  then  enter  the 
church,  walk  gravely  through  the  crowd,  ascend  the  pulpit,  deposit 
his  rifle  in  a  corner  of  it,  lay  off  his  shot  pouch,  and  commence  the 
solemn  services  of  the  day.* 

The  Eev.  Charles  Cummings  was  what  would  be  termed  in 
our  day  "  a  fighting  parson."  Immediately  after  the  occurrence* 
above  stated  Mr.  Cummings  and  about  one  hundred  of  his  parishion- 
ers, under  the  command  of  Evan  Shelby,  hurried  to  the  relief  of 
the  Watauga  settlers  who  were  besieged  by  the  Indians  in  Fort  Lee, 
and  he  accompanied  Col.  William  Christian  on  his  expedition  against 
the  Cherokee  Indians  in  the  fall  of  this  year,  preaching  at  different 
points  in  East  Tennessee  to  settlers  and  soldiers  whenever  the  oppor- 
tunity offered  itself,  he  being  the  first  minister  of  the  gospel  to  de- 
liver the  message  of  peace  in  the  boundaries  of  the  present  State 
of  Tennessee.  In  the  year  1776  the  ground  now  occupied  by  Martha 
Washington  College  and  Stonewall  Jackson  Institute  was  a  dense 
chinquapin  thicket,  and  the  lands  between  the  thicket  and  Black's 
Fort  were  cultivated  in  flax.  During  the  summer  of  the  year 
1776  two  men  and  three  women  were  pulling  flax  near  the  fort 
with  Frederick  Mongle  stationed  as  sentinel  to  give  the  alarm 
should  the  Indians  make  their  appearance.  The  Indians,  who  had 
hidden  themselves  in  the  bushes  above  referred  to,  quietly  ap- 
proached and  wounded  and  scalped  Mr.  Mongle,  but  the  other 
persons  reached  the  fort  in  safety  by  dodging  from  tree  to  tree. 
The  men  from  the  fort  came  at  once  to  the  rescue,  and,  attacking 

Governor  David  Campbell's  MSS. 

Southwest  Virginia,  174-6-1786.  333 

the  Indians,  drove .  them  off.  Mr.  Mongle  soon  died  from  his 
wounds,  and  his  relatives  claim  that  his  grave,  and  not  William 
Creswell's,  was  the  first  made  in  Sinking  Spring  Cemetery.  But 
this  contention  cannot  be  correct,  for  Mongle  was  not  killed  until 
several  weeks  after  the  death  of  William  Creswell. 

During  the  summer  several  murders  were  committed  by  the 
Indians.  Two  men,  who  had  gone  out  to  bring  up  their  horses, 
were  killed  almost  in  sight  of  a  neighboring  fort,  and  of  the  two  men 
who  went  with  an  express  from  Fort  Black  one  was  killed  and  the 
other  made  his  escape. 

As  a  result  of  the  trouble  with  the  Indians  Col.  Wm.  Chris- 
tian, Capt.  Wm.  Campbell,  and  Capt.  Wm.  Eussell  returned  to 
their  homes  from  the  regular  continental  army  to  assist  in  the 
defence  of  their  homes  from  the  combined  attacks  of  the  British 
and  Indians.  The  Governor  of  Virginia  at  this  time  directed  Col. 
AVm.  Fleming,  of  Botetourt  county,  to  dispatch  a  body  of  the 
militia  of  that  county  to  the  frontiers  of  Fincastle  county  for  the 
protection  of  the  inhabitants,  and  pursuant  to  this  order  Capt. 
Thomas  Eowland  was  dispatched  with  his^company  to  the  fron- 
tiers. The  following  is  a  complete  list  of  Captain  Eowland's  com- 

Capt.  Thomas  Eowland,  William  Kyles, 

Henry  Cartmill,  Martin  McFattin, 

Martin  Baker,  James  Esprey, 

John  Wood,  Samuel  McFarrin, 

Thomas  Bowyer,  George  Eutledge, 

James  Leatherdale,  William  Calbert, 

John  Crawford,  Edward  Carbin, 

David  WaUace,  Samuel  M'Eoberts, 

James  Bryant,  Thomas  Peage, 

William  Bryant,  Stephen  Holston, 

Eobert  Feely,  William  Henry, 

Elijah  Vinsant,  George  Givens, 

John  Moor,  James  Cloyd, 

Thomas  Eagnew,  Isaac  Lawrence, 

Isaac  Eichardson,  William  Wills, 

James  Nicholas,  James  McQuown, 

William  Crawford,  James  Eobinson, 

234  Sbuthtvest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

James  Alcorn,  William  Kichey, 

George  Tlutchinson  Joseph  Kyles, 

(B-otetourt  parish),  Samuel  McChire, 

Rev.  Adam  Smyth,  pastor,  Patrick  Lockliait, 

William  Astin,  John  Mills, 

W^illiam  Leatherdale,  Henry  Smith, 

Eobert  Woods,  James  Gaunt, 

Edward  Guilford,  Joseph  Carrol, 

Joseph  Bryant,  John  Jones, 

William  McFarrin,  Henry  Walker, 

Jacob  Kimberland,  John  Burks, 

Robert  Birdswell,  Thomas  Arbuekle, 

Thomas  Howell,  David  Lawrence, 

\   Samuel  Blair,  Patrick  Lawrence, 

David  Harbinson,  John  Frager, 

Jonathan  Wood,  William  Ross. 
Joseph  Titus, 

This  expedition  accomplished  nothing  of  value.  This  muster 
roll  is  given  as  a  matter  of  information  to  the  many  descendants 
of  these  men  who  are  now  living  in  this  county. 

In  the  year  1776,  at  the  time  of  the  battle  of  Long  Island  Flats, 
a  man  by  the  name  of  Lewis,  with  his  wife  and  seven  children, 
lived  in  the  bounds  of  the  present  county  of  Scott.  He  was 
informed  by  Captain  John  Redd,  that  the  Indians  had  declared  war 
and  were  on  the  warpath,  and  was  advised  to  move  into  the  settle- 
ments, but  he  swore  that  he  was  in  no  danger,  the  Indians  would 
never  find  him,  but,  soon  thereafter,  the  Indians  visited  his  home 
and  killed  and  scalped  Lewis,  his  wife  and  seven  children.  Among 
the  extreme  settlers  who  left  their  homes  and  returned  to  the  set- 
tlements, was  a  man  by  the  name  of  Ambrose  Fletcher,  whose  fam- 
ily consisted  of  himself,  his  wife  and  two  children.  Fletcher  had 
settled  at  Martin's  Fort  in  Powell's  Valley,  and  fled  from  that 
point  to  Blackmore's  Foxt,  on  Cove  creek,  now  in  Scott  county,  ■ 
Virginia.  He  and  his  family  remained  in  Blackmore's  Fort  for 
a  few  days,  wben,  the  fort  becoming  very  much  crowded,  Fletcher 
built  a  small  cabin,  about  thirty  or  forty  yards  back  of  the  fort, 
and  moved  into  it.  Sliortly  afterwards,  Fletcher  left  his  home  to 
go  to  a  canebrake  to  get  his  horse,  and,  on  returning,  he  found  his 
wife  and  two  children  tomahawked  and  scalped. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17Ji6-1786.  235 

At  this  time  the  following  forts  were  to  be  found  on  the  waters 
of  the  Holston  and  Clinch,  so  far  as  I  can  ascertain : 

Thompson's  Fort,  located  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  Huff  Bros. 

Edmiston's  Fort,  located  on  Snodgrass's  farm  at  Lodi,  Va. 

Bryan's  Fort,  located  at  Kendrick's  Mill. 

Black's  Fort,  located  at  Abingdon,  Virginia. 

Cocke's  Fort,  located  on  Clyce  Farm  on  Spring  creek. 

Bledsoe's  Fort,  located . 

Shelby's  Fort,  located  Bristol. 

Eaton's  Fort,  located  seven  miles  east  of  Long  Island. 

Fort  Patrick  Henry,  located  at  Long  Island. 

Fort  Lee,  located,  at  Watauga. 

Gillespie's  Fort,  located . 

Womack's  Fort,  located,  near  Bluff  City,  Tennessee. 

Martin's  Fort,  located  in  Powell's  Valley. 

Priest's  Fort,  located  in  Powell's  Valley. 

Mumps'  Fort,  located  in  Powell's  Valley. 

Rye  Cove  Fort,  located . 

Blackmore's  Fort,  located  Cove  creek. 

Glade  Hollow  Fort,  located  in  Russell  county. 

Hamlin's  Fort,  located  near  Castle's  Woods. 

Elk  Garden  Fort,  located  Russell  county. 

Fort  Bowen,  located  at  Maiden  Spring. 

Wynne's  Fort,  located  Tazewell  county,  Wynne's  branch. 

Crab  Orchard  Fort,  located  Tazewell  county. 

At  the  same  time  that  the  Virginia  settlements  were  suffering 
from  the  invasion  of  the  Indians,  North  Carolina,  South  Carolina 
and  Georgia,  were  experiencing  like  invasions.  These  four  fron- 
tier colonies  decided  to  invade  the  Indian  country  and  bring 
them  to  their  senses,  by  destroying  their  towns  and  chastising  their 
warriors.  The  Cherokee  Indians  occupied  that  vast  country  north 
of  the  upper  settlements  in  Georgia  and  west  of  the  settlements  in 
North  and  South  Carolina  and  Southwest  Virginia.  Their  coun- 
try was  divided  into  three  sections,  and  the  number -of  the  warriors 
in  each  was  as  follows: 

Middle    Settlements   and   Valleys    878 

In   Lower   Towns    356 

In   Over-Hill   Towns    757 

Total    1,991 

236  Southwest  Virginia,  nJf6-n86. 

The  Georgia  militia,  under  tlie  command  of  Colonel  McBury  and 
Major  Jack,  invaded  the  Indian  settlements  on  the  Tugalo  river, 
routed  the  Indians  and  destroj^ed  all  their  towns.  The  militia:  of 
South  Carolina,  being  about  1150  men,  under  the  command  of 
General  Williamson,  in  the  early  days  of  August,  marched  into 
the  Indian  settlements  and  met  and  defeated,  at  Oconoree,  Alex- 
ander Cameron,  who  was  in  command  of  a  large  body  of  Indians 
and  white  men.  They  burned  a  number  of  Indian  towns  and 
returned  to  their  homes.  The  militia  of  the  State  of  North  Caro- 
lina, numbering  about  2,000  men,  under  the  command  of  General 
Eutherford,  marched  into  the  middle  settlements  and  valleys, 
about  the  same  time.  Upon  the  approach  of  this  army,  the  Indians 
fled.  Their  towns  were  burned,  to  the  number  of  thirty  or  forty, 
and  these  troops  returned  to  North  Carolina.  While  the  troops  of 
the  States  of  Georgia,  North  Carolina  and  South  Carolina  were 
invading  the  middle  settlements  and  lower  towns  of  the  Cherokees, 
the  Virginia  authorities  were  making  every  preparation  to  invade 
the  over-hill  towns. 

On  the  22d  of  July,  1776,  the  Virginia  Council  received  a  letter 
from  President  Eutledge,  of  South  Carolina,  informing  them  that 
hostilities  had  been  commenced  by  the  Cherokee  Indians,  and  that 
Georgia,  North  Carolina  and  South  Carolina  had  agreed  to  set 
on  foot  an  expedition  against  the  lower  towns  and  middle  settle- 
ments at  once,  and  requesting  the  cooperation  of  Virginia,  asking 
that  she  carry  war  into  the  upper  or  over-hill  t/owns.  Thereupon, 
the  council  directed  Colonel  Charles  Lewis  to  march  immediately, 
with  his  battalion  of  minute  men,  to  the  frontiers.  Upon  the 
receipt  of  this  order  Colonel  Lewis  immediately  marched  his  bat- 
talion of  troops  to  the  vicinity  of  New  river  in  Fincastle  county, 
where  it  was  ascertained  that  a  number  of  his  men  were  unfit  for 
an  Indian  expedition ;  whereupon,  he  was  directed  to  discharge  all 
such  and  to  recruit  others  in  their  stead. 

On  the  first  day  of  August,  1776,  the  Virginia  Council  ordered 
that  a  commission  issue  appointing  William  Christian,  Esq.,  colonel 
of  the  first  battalion  and  commander-in-chief  of  all  the  forces 
raised  for  nse  in  the  expedition  against  the  Cherokee  Indians.  It 
was  decided  to  send  two  battalions  of  troops  upon  this  expedition, 
which  were  officered  as  follows: 

Commander-in-chief,  William  Christian. 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 


Colonel,  first  battalion,  William  Christian. 
Major,  first  battalion,  Evan  Shelby. 
Surgeon,  first  battalion,  Joseph  Starke. 
Colonel,  second  l^attalion,  Charles  Lewis. 
Surgeon,  second  battalion,  George  Hart. 

Captain  James  Thompson  and  his  company  formed  the  life 
guard  of  Colonel  Christian,  the  commander-in-chief,  upon  this 

The  folloAving  captains,  with  their  companies,  accampanied  thia 
expedition  against  tlie  (Jheiokee  Indians,  so  far  as  1  can  ascertain: 

Captain  John  Campbell, 
Captain  William  Russell, 
Captain  Eobert  Boggs, 
Captain  John  Sevier, 
Captain  James  Thompson, 
Captain  Isaac  Bledsoe, 
Captain  John  Momtgomery, 

Captain  Daniel  Smith, 
Captain  Aaron  Lewis, 
Captain  Jacob  Womack, 
Captain  William  Cocke, 
Captain  Benjamin  Gray, 
Captain  William  Preston, 
Captain  Thomas  Madison. 

Captain  Thomas  Madison  was  appointed  commissary  and  pay- 
master upon  this  expedition. 

But  little  is  known  of  the  participants  in  this  expedition.  I  have, 
therefore,  gathered  the  names  of  the  privates  who  took  part  in.  this 
expedition,  as  far  as  I  can  obtain  them.  Their  names  are  as 
follows : 

llobert,  Campbell, 
Thomas  Hobbs,  wounded. 
Thomas  Berry,  wounded. 
Christopher  Watson, 
Matthew  Allison, 
John  Finley, 
Andrew  Wallace, 
Humphrey  Higgins, 
James  Sawyers, 
William  Crawford, 
James  Buford, 
Joshua  Eenfro, 
William  Hogart, 
Ephraim  Dunlap, 

Michael  Ocheltree, 
Benjamin  Thomas, 
John  Wood, 
Eobert  Finley, 
William  WiUs, 
Jacob  Gardner, 
Samuel  Ewing, 
George  Caldwell, 
Jacob  Early, 
James  Berry, 
Henley  Moore, 
Jacob  Anderson, 
John  Adair, 
James  Robinson, 


Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

William  Hicks, 

David  Getgood, 

Samuel  Gay, 

Isaac  Eiddle, 

David  Smith, 

Edward  Eoss, 

Gideon  Farris, 

Jesse  Womack, 

John  Furnham, 

William  Frogg, 

William  Milnm, 

Lance  Woodward, 

Francis  Katherine, 

Daniel  Henderson, 

Amos  Eaton, 

David  Ro'unceval, 

Samuel  Douglas,  wounded 

Duncan,  killed; 

George  Berry,  wounded; 
John  Reburn, 
Abraham  Crabtree, 
David  McKenzie, 
Christopher  Irwin, 
John  Cochran, 
James  Young, 
William  Meade, 
David  Wallace, 
Stephen  Holston, 
Patrick  Murphy, 
Isbon  Talbert, 
James  Campbell, 
:  Matthew  Scott, 
Thomas  Logwood, 
Robert  Preston, 
Robert  Campbell, 
Jacob  Cogor, 
Daniel  Kidd, 
John  Goff, 
Cuthbert  Jones, 

Samuel  Campbell, 
William  Markland, 
Joseph  McCormick, 
James  McCockle, 
Joseph  Russell, 
Jonathan  Martin,  - 
Gideon  Morris, 
William  Ingram, 
Robert  Stewart, 
James  Berry, 
Daniel  Smith, 
William  Haynes, 
John  McClanahan, 
John  Phelps, 
Abraham  McClanahan, 
James  Arnold, 
Hanrist  Carlock, 
Andrew  Little, 
Thomas  Berry, 
John  Latham, 
William  Ramsay, 
James  Bradley, 
Lambert  Lame, 
John  Rice, 
Joab  Springer, 
Onsbey  Carney, 
John  Crane, 
Benjamin  Drake, 
Benjamin  Rice, 
David  Irwin, 
George  Miller, 
Thomas  Ramsay, 
Thomas  Fowler, 
Thomas  Smith, 
George  Coon, 
William  Rice, 
Isaac  Rounceval, 
James  M'Farland, 
William  Ross, 

Southwest  Virginia^  1746-1786. 


Philip  Love, 
David  English, 
James  Tuttle, 
Meredy  Eeins, 
Michael  Gleaves, 
Christian  Shiiltz, 
Samuel  Ingram, 
James  Newell, 
William  Bennett, 
Tittleton  Brooks, 
Michael  Eowland, 
William  Mitchell, 
William  Eice, 
Philip  Williams, 
James  Harris, 
Arthur  Onsbey, 
William  Nettles, 
John  Harris,  Jr., 
William  Lane, 
David  Hunter, 
Michael  Ohair, 
John  Walker, 
Ebenezer  Meads, 
Samuel  Campbell, 
Francis   Hamilton, 
^    James  Daugherty, 
Frederick  Fraily, 
William  Edmiston, 
David  Carson, 
James  M'Cain, 
James  Steel, 
Eobert  Gambell, 
Daniel  M'Cormack, 
Jonathan  Jennings, 
George  Parker, 
William  Peoples, 
Valentine  Little, 
Samuel  Fair, 
Alexander  Butler, 

William  Brown, 
Tjeonard  Helm, 
James  Greer, 
Samuel  Ewin, 
Eichard  Thomas, 
Eobert  Stephenson, 
Eobert  M'Elheney, 
Isaac  Thomas, 
John  Craig, 
Adam  Brausteter, 
Michael  Dougherty, 
James  M'Carthy, 
William  Henson, 
Charles  Eice, 
Jesse  Henson, 
Jonathan  Mulhey, 
Moses  Winters, 
John  Harris,  Sr., 
James  Beets, 
John  M'Farland, 
Nicholas  Edwards, 
James  Kelley, 
James  Eichardson, 
James  Hamilton, 
George  Newland, 
James  Williams, 
Henry  Whitner, 
Henry  Eichardson, 
John  Muldrough, 
Michael  Francisco, 
James  Mason, 
Solomon  Kendrick, 
William  White, 
Charles  Cocke, 
John  Craig, 
Eobert  McNutt, 
Jacob  Steams, 
John  Simpson, 
Thomas  Price, 


Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786. 

Peter  Haff, 
Henry  Rice, 
William  Lane, 
Philip  Mulhey,  Sr., 
I^ewis  Crane, 
Isaac  Lindsay,- 
Samuel  Martin, 
James  M'Clern, 
James  Smith, 
Lewis  Whitner, 
William  Calvert, 
Samuel  Eason, 
James  M'Donald, 
Samuel  Montgomery, 
William  Carr, 
John  Gibson, 
James  Walker, 
Philip  Mulhey,  Jr.,    > 
Andrew  Cowan, 
John  Adair, 
James  Cameron, 

George  Scott,  • 
Joseph  Perrin 
Nicholas  Edwards, 
John  Hounshel, 
Adam  Brausteter, 
James  Doran, 
George  Caldwell, 
Jeremiah  Rush, 
Robert  Hardwicke, 
Joseph  M'Reynolds, 
Benjamin  Logan, 
Robert  Cowden, 
Andrew  Irwin, 
John  Gordon, 
Thomas  Goldsby, 
Peter  Tnrney, 
Anthony  Bledsoe, 
John  Walker, 
Evan  Williams, 
Edward  Piggett, 
Jacob  Vance. 

On  the  26th  day  of  July,  1776,  the  Honorable  Cornelius  Har- 
nett, president  of  the  Council  of  Safety  of  North  Carolina,  informed 
the  Virginia  Council  that  the  Cherokees  entertained  the  design  of 
cutting  off  the  persons  employed  at  the  Lead  Mines,  whereupon,  the 
Council  ordered  William  Preston,  the  county  lieutenant  of  Fincastlo 
county,  to  raise,  at  once,  a  stockade  fort  for  the  defence  of  said 
mines  and  to  garrison  the  same  with  a  force  of  twenty-five  men. 

On  the  first  day  of  August,  1776,  the  Virginia  Council  gave  the 
following  instructions  to  William  Christian,  commander-in-chief, 
and  Colonel  Charles  Lewis,  in  command  of  the  second  battalion, 
of  the  forces  in  the  expedition  against  the  Cherokees. 

"When  your  battalion  and  the  battalion  under  Colonel  Charles 
Lewis  are  completed,  you  are  to  march  with  them  and  the  forces 
under  the  command  of  Colonel  Russell,  and  such  others  as  may  join 
you  from  Carolina,  into  the  Cherokee  country,  if  these  forces  shall 
be  judged  sufficient  for  the  purpose  of  severely  chastising  that  cruel 
and  perfidious  nation,  which  you  are  to  do  in  a  manner  most  likely 
to  put  a  stop  to'  future  insults  and  ravages  and  that  may  redound 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  241 

most  to  the  honor  of  American  arms.  If  the  Indians  should  be 
reduced  to  the  necessity  of  suing  for  peace,  you  must  take  care  to 
demand  of  them  a  sufficient  number  of  their  chiefs  and  warriors  as 
hostages,  for  the  performance  of  the  conditions  you  may  require  of 
them.  You  must  insist  on  their  delivering  up  all  prisoners  who 
may  choose  to  leave  them  and  on  their  giving  up  to  justice  all  per- 
sons amongst  them  who  have  been  concerned  in  bringing  on  the 
present  war,  particularly  Stuart,  Cameron  and  Gist,  and  all  others 
whO'  have  committed  murder  or  robberies  on  our  frontiers.  You 
may  require  any  other  terms  which  the  situation  of  affairs  may 
point  out  and  you  may  judge  necessary  for  the  safety  and  honor  of 
the  Commonwealth.  You  must  endeavor  to  communicate  with  the 
commanding  officer  of  the  Carolina  forces  and  cooperate  with  him, 
making  the  attack  as  near  the  time  of  his  as  may  be. 

You  are  from  time  to  time  to  write  His  Excellency  the  Governor, 
giving  him  a  full  account  of  your  operations,  and  requiring  his 
further  instructions.  Instructions  to  Colonel  Charles  Lewis  of  the 
second  battalion  of  minute  men:  You  are  to  order  the  captains 
under  your  command  to  march  their  companies  to  their  respective 
counties,  then  to  discharge  such  of  their  men  as  are  not  properly 
qualified  to  serve  on  an  expedition  against  the  Indians,  and  to  raise 
with  all  possible  dispatch  in  their  stead  the  best  recruits  that  can 
be  found  for  the  service,  and,  having  so  completed  their  companies, 
to  repair  to  the  Big  Island  on  Holston  river  in  Fincastle  county,  the 
place  of  general  rendezvous." 

And,  on  the  6th  day  of  August,  1776,  the  Virginia  Council 
directed  tlie  keeper  of  the  magazine  to  forward  to  Colonel  William 
Christian  1,000  poimds  of  powder,  two  flints  to  be  used  on  this 

It  required  some  time  to  organize  and  equip  the  forces  intended 
to  proceed  against  the  Cherokee  Indians,  which  work  was  carried 
on  with  the  greatest  possible  expedition,  until  the  first  week  in  Sep- 


The  first  county  court  of  Fincastle  county,  under  the  Constitution 
of  the  Commonwealth  of  Virginia,  assembled  at  the  Lead  Mines, 
(now  in  Wythe  county),  on  September  3,  1776,  at  which  time  the 

242  Southwest  Virginia,  174G-1786. 

following  members  of  the  county  court  and  officers  of  Fincastle 
county  qualified  by  taking  the  oatli  prescribed  by  an  ordinance  of 
the  Virginia  Convention,  which  oath  was  administered  by  James 
McGavock  and  Arthur  Campbell. 


William  Preston,  Arthur  Campbell, 

James  McGavock,  John  Montgomery, 

James  McCorkle. 

Sheriff,  William  Preston,  appointed  by  the  court. 

Deputy  Sheriff,  William  Sayers, 

Deputy  Clerk,  Stephen  Trigg, 

County-Lieutenant,  William  Preston. 

Attorney-at-Law,  Harry  Innes. 

But  little  business  of  importance  was  transacted  at  this  term  of 
the  court,  so  far  as  the  records  that  have  been  preserved  show. 

Thus  began  the  first  organized  government  under  the  Constitu- 
tion of  Virginia,  in  Fincastle  county. 

In  the  month  of  September,  1776,  that  portion  of  the  troops  under 
the  command  of  Colonel  William  Eussell  began  their  march  to  the 
Great  Island  of  the  Holston,  at  which  time  Anthony  Bledsoe  entered 
two  wagons  in  the  public  service,  to  convey  the  baggage  and  pro- 
vision of  the  troops.  This  circumstance  is  mentioned,  for  the  rea- 
son that  this  was  the  first  time,  as  far  as  can  be  ascertained,  that 
a  wagon  was  taken  by  tlie  white  man,  as  low  down  as  the  Long 
Island  in  Holston. 

When  Colonel  Eussell  reached  the  Long  Island,  he  thought  it 
necessary  to  erect  a  fort  in  a  field  on  the  land  of  John  Latham,  on 
Long  Island,  which  fort  was  speedily  erected  and  every  preparation 
made  for  the  coming  of  the  troops  under  command  of  Colonel  Chris- 
tian. A  company  of  militia  was  enrolled  at  Black's  Fort  (now 
Abingdon),  and  taken  into  the  pay  of  the  government,  to  guard 
the  new  fort,  called  Fort  Patrick  Henry,  at  Long  Island,  and  to 
guard  the  provision  and  baggage  wagons  going  to  and  returning 
from  that  fort.  By  the  first  day  of  October,  Colonel  Christian,  with 
his  entire  army  of  2,000  men,  including  about  400  men  from  North 
Carolina  under  command  of  Colonel  Joseph  Williams,  Colonel  Love 
and  Major  Winston,  arrived  at  Long  Island.  When  the  army  had 
proceeded  about  six  miles  beyond  Long  Island,  Colonel  Christian 

Southwest  Virginia,  174G-1780.  243 

halted  his  unny  and  offered  a  reward  of  one  hundred  pounds  to 
an}'  pei'son  or  persons  who  woukl  proceed  to  the  Cherokee  towns  and 
bring  liini  a  prisoner,  in  order  to  obtain  intelligence  of  the  motions 
of  the  enemy;  whereupon,  8amnel  Ewing,  John  Blankenship  and 
James  jMcCall  undertook  the  business,  and  in  a  few  days  entered 
the  town  of  To(pio,  after  crossing  the  Tennessee  river,  where  they 
met  an  Indian  man  on  horseback,  whom  they  permitted  to  escape, 
lest  it  might  occasion  a  discovery.  They  next  visited  the  house  of  a 
Iving's  man  by  the  name  of  LowTy,  where  they  were  refused  admit- 
tance. They  then  proceeded  to  the  house  of  one  Davis^  from  whom 
tliey  ol)tained  intelligence  of  the  designs  of  the  enemy,  when  they 
I'eturned  to  the  army  and  gave  a  true  account  of  the  situation  of 
affairs  in  the  Indian  country,  according  to  their  information,  and 
they  were  paid  by  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  the  one  hun- 
dred pounds,  pursuant  to  the  agreement  of  Colonel  Christian. 

Upon  the  receipt  of  this  information.  Colonel  Christian  and  his 
army  proceeded,  in  a  very  cautious  manner,  on  their  march  to  the 
Tennessee,  always  encamping,  at  night,  behind  brea.stworks,  to  pre- 
vent a  surprise. 

Colonel  John  Sevier  commanded,  upon  this  expedition,  a  com- 
])any  of  horse,  the  rest  of  tlie  army  being  infantry.  Sixteen  spies 
were  sent  in  advance  of  the  army  to  the  crossing  of  the  French 
Broad  ri^er,  a  point  where  the  Indians  said  the  white  men  should 
never  cro^ss.  After  being  several  days  out,  Alexander  Harlin  came 
into  camp  and  told  Colonel  Christian  that  3,000  Indian  warriors 
were  awaiting  his  arrival  at  the  crossing  of  the  French  Broad.  Col- 
onel Christian  permitted  him  to  go  through  the  camp  and  to  observe 
the  strengtli  of  his  army,  when  he  was  dismissed  by  Colonel  Chris- 
tian, with  direction  tO'  inform  the  Indians  of  his  determination  to 
cross,  not  only  the  French  Broad,  but  the  Tennessee  river,  before  he 
returned.  The  army  continued  its  march  through  the  wilderness, 
under  direction  of  Isaac  Thomas,  the  noted  Indian  trader  and  friend 
of  Nancy  Ward,  as  pilot.  When  they  approached  the  crossing  of 
the  French  Broad  river,  a  king's  man  by  the  name  of  Fallin 
approached  the  camp  with  a  flag  of  truce,  to  which  Colonel  Christian 
paid  no  attention,  permitting  Fallin  to  pass  through  the  camp  unmo- 
lested, that  he  might  observe  the  strength  of  Christian's  army.  It  is 
said  that  the  Indians  had  gathered  on  the  opposite  side  of  this  cross- 
ing determined  to  defend  its  passage  to  the  last  extremity,  when  a 

244  Southiuest  Virginia,  17J,6-178G. 

white  man  by  the  name  of  Starr,  in  the  absence  of  Fallin,  persuaded 
the  Indians  that  it  was  folly  to  resist  the  invasion  of  the  whites. 
In  an  earnest  harangue,  he  told  them  it  was  folly  to  contend  with 
the  white  man.  That  the  Great  Spirit  intended  he  should  over- 
run and  occupy  all  the  low  lands  which  should  be  cultivated.  To 
the  red  man  he  had  given  the  hills  and  forests,  where  he  might  sub- 
sist on  game  without  tilling  the  soil,  which  was  work  fit  only  for 
woiuen.  To  struggle  with  the  white  man  was,  therefore,  to  fight 
with  destiny.  The  only  safety  for  the  Indians  lay  in  a  speedy  retreat 
to  their  mountain  fastnesses."* 

From  some  cause  the  Indians  disbanded  and  dispersed  without 
offering  any  resistance  to  the  white  men.  Colonel  Christian  and 
his  army  crossed  tJie  river  and  pressed  rapidly  forward  to  the  Chero- 
kee towns  along  the  Little  Tennessee  and  Telico,  every  one  of  whicli 
was  destroyed,  except  Chota,  the  home  of  Nancy  Ward,  the  beloved 
woman  of  the  Indian  tribe  and  the  friend  of  the  white  man;  and 
Colonel  Christian  destroyed  all  grain,  cattle  and  other  provisions 
found  in  the  nation.  When  Colonel  Christian  had  destroyed  the 
towns  and  property  of  the  Indians  and  had  chastised  them  as  far 
as  it  was  possible  to  do  so,  he  sent  out  a  number  of  men  with  flags 
of  truce,  and  requested  a  talk  with  the  Chiefs.  A  number  of  them 
came  in  immediately  and  proposed  peace.  Colonel  Christian  told 
them  he  was  willing  to  grant  them  peace,  but  not  until  the  tribe  was 
fully  represented,  and,  thereupon.  Colonel  Christian  fixed  a  day  for 
the  concluding  of  peace  in' the  following  May,  at  Long  Island  in 
Holston  river,  and,  in  the  meantime,  hostilities  were  to  cease  except 
as  to  two  to\\Tis  on  the  Tennessee  river,  where  young  Moore,  who 
had  been  captured  at  Watauga,  had  been  burned  at  the  stake ;  which 
proposition  was  accepted.  Colonel  John  Sevier,  thereupon,  visited 
the  towns  in  question  and  left  the  same  in  ashes. 

Colonel  Christian  finding  nothing  further  to  engage  his  attention, 
returned  with  his  army  to  the  liOng  Island  in  Holston  river.  This 
campaign  lasted  three  months,  and  but  a  single  white  man  was 
killed.  This  w^as  a  man  whose  name  was  Duncan,  a  soldier  under 
Captain  Jacob  Womack.  He  was  killed  in  an  engagement  with  the 
Indians.  This  man  left  a  wife  (she  was  a  cripple),  and  five  small 
children,  to  whom  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia,  on  June  Ifi, 
1777,  allowed  the  sum  of  twenty  pounds  for  their  present  relief  and 

*Rear  Guard  of  the  Revolution,  p.  126. 

Southivest  Virginia,  17^6-1786.  245 

the  further  sum  of  five  pounds  per  annum,  for  the  period  of  five 
years,  with  directions  to  Anthony  Bledsoe  and  William  Cocke,  to  lay 
out  and  expend  the  same  for  the  support  and  maintenance  of  Eliza- 
beth Duncan  and  her  children.  Several  white  men  were  slightly 
wounded  by  the  Indians  and  by  accident,  upon  this  expedition, 
among  the  number  being  Samuel  Douglas,  Thomas  Berry  and 
George  Berry,  Jr. 

Upon  the  return  of  the  army  to  the  Long  Island  of  the  Holston, 
Colonel  Christian  reorganized  the  same,  and,  for  the  protection  of 
the  frontiers,  left  six  hundred  men  at  the  island  under  the  command 
of  Colonel  Evan  Shelby  and  Major  Anthony  Bledsoe. 

The  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  directed  the  Governor  and 
Council  to  take  such  measures  for  the  preservation  and  disposition 
of  the  horses  and  provision  belonging  to  the  government  and  in  use 
upon  this  expedition  as  should  appear  to  be  most  proper  and  con- 
ducive to  the  interest  of  the  country.  And,  by  the  same  act,  the 
Governor  and  Council  were  directed  to  give  instructions  to  the  com- 
manding officer  of  the  army  destined  against  the  Cherokees,  to 
take  such  steps,  at  the  end  of  the  campaign,  as  were  thonght  neces- 
sary for  the  future  safety  and  protection  of  the  southwestern  fron- 
tier of  this  State.  Whereupon  the  Governor  and  Council  of  Virginia 
directed  Captain  Thomas  Madison  tO'  take  the  necessary  steps  to  col- 
lect all  the  cattle  and  horses  on  hand  upon  the  return  of  the  army 
from  this  expedition,  and  to  take  care  of  them,  whereupon  Captain 
Madison  employed: 

William  Carmack,  John  Delaney, 

Stephen  Eichards,  TMatthew  Dean, 

John  Fulkerson,  Cornelius  Carmack, 

Andrew  Greer,  Joseph  Greer, 

John  Nash,  Samuel  Looney, 

Peter  Looney,  William  McBroom, 

John  Cox,  John  Carmack, 

Jonathan  Drake,  Ezekiel  Smith, 

Henry  Hickey,  Isaac  Drake, 

Hugh  Blair,  Benjamin  Drake, 

to  herd  and  take  care  of  the  country  cattle,  from  the  13th  day  of 
November,  1776,  to  the  11th  day  of  June,  1777.  And  Colonel 
Christian,  pursuant  to  the  directions  of  the  Governor  and  Council, 
stationed  the  six  hundred  men  as  above  detailed  at  Long  Island, 

246  Southwest  Virginia,  1740-1786. 

and  directed  Captaioi  Joseph  Martin  tO'  proceed  to  the  Eye  Gove 
Fort,  about  fifty  miles  from  North  Fork  of  the  Clinch  river,  with 
eighty  men.  The  rest  of  the  army  were  mnstered  out  of  service. 
Captain  Martin  immiHliately  l)egan  the  march  to  the  Rye  Cove. 
Upon  this  march  he  had  to  pass  through  a  very  dangerous  gap, 
called  Little  IMocca^in,  where  the  trail  went  through  a  very  nar- 
row and  deep  gorge  of  the  mountain  and  where  the  Indians  had 
killed  a  great  many  white  people.  When  Captain  Martin  began 
the  march  through  the  gap,  he  had  his  men  in  fine  order  and 
strung  out  in  smgle  file.  Just  as  the  head  of  the  column 
emerged  from  the  narrow  defile,  the  whole  column  was  fired  upon 
by  Indians  from  the  top  of  the  ridge,  where  they  were  strung  out 
in  a  line  as  long  as  Captain  Martin's.  As  soon  as  the  Indians 
fired,  they  ran  off,  having  failed  to  kill  any  of  Martin's  men 
But  one  man,  James  Bunch,  a  member  of  Martin's  company, 
had  five  balls  shot  through  his  flesh,  whereby  he  was  rendered 
incapable  of  getting  a  livelihood  hy  labor,  and  was  allowed  by 
the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  thirty  pounds  for  his  pres- 
ent relief  and  half  pay   as   a  soldier  for  three  years. 

The  Indians  liaving  all  fled,  Captain  Martin  proceeded  to  Eye 
Cove,  where  he  remained  until  the  first  of  May,  1777,  when  he 
was  ordered  back  to  the  Long  Island,  where  he  remained  until 
the  treaty  of  peace  was  concluded  between  the  Indians  and  the 
whites  on  July  the  first. 

In  December  of  the  year  1776,  the  commanding  officer  at 
Fort  Patrick  Henry  dispatched  Samuel  Newell  and  another  per- 
son tO'  the  Cherokee  town  for  the  Indian  chief,  the  Eaven  of 
Chote.  Upon  their  return  trip  they  were  accompanied  by  the 
Indian  chief. 

A  short  time  thereafter,  in  the  month  pf  January,  1777, 
Samuel  Newell  was  again  ordered  to  tlie  Indian  town,  Chote, 
Avith  letters  in  regard  to  a  family  that  liad  been  murdered  near 
Fort  Patrick  Henry.  AVhile  on,  his  way  to  the  town  of  Toquo, 
he  was  tomahawked  l)y  the  Indians  and  scalped,  and  soon  there- 
after died  in  the  town  of  Chote.  His  horse,  gun,  saddle  and 
bridle,  saddle-bags  and  clotlies  were  carried  off  by  the  Indians, 
who  murdered  him. 

A  number  of  the  citizens  of  Fincastle  county  potitioned  the 
General    Assembly    of    Virginia    for    compensation    for    pasturage 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-178G.  347 

taken   and   the   provisions   nsed   by    Colonel    Oliristian   upon   this 
expedition,  among  the  number  so  petitioning  being 

Amos  Eaton,  John   Latham, 

James  Kincannon  Evan   Shelby, 

David  Getgood,  ±\hel  Eichardson, 

John  Beatie,  James  McGavock, 

AVilliam  Sayers,  James  Aylett, 

Ephraim  Dunlop,  Robert  Barnett, 
William  Cocke, 

The  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  at  its  fall  sassion  in  1776, 
allowed  Isaac  Thomas,  the  faithful  friend  of  the  white  settlers, 
one  hundred  pounds  as  a  reward  for  the  services  he  had  rendered 
the  settlers  by  giving  them  information  of  the  intended  incur- 
sions of  the  Indians,  and  paid  him  for  the  stock  and  property 
lost  at  the  time  of  the  outbreak  ol  the  Indian  war. 

The  Governor  and  Council  of  Virginia  directed  that  for  the 
purpose  of  concluding  a  treaty  of  peace  between  the  Indians  and 
the  Commonwealth  of  Virginia  a  convention  should  be  held  at 
tlie  Long  Island  of  Holston,  in  the  month  of  May,  1777,  and 
appointed  Colonel  William  Christian,  Colonel  William'  Preston 
and  Major  Evan  Shelby  to  act  as  the  Virginia  commissioners  at 
said  convention.  The  Governor  and  Council  of  ISTorth  Carolina 
appointed  Waightstill  x\very,  Joseph  Winston  and  Eobert 
Lanier,  commissioners  upon  the  part  of  North  Carolina  at  said 
convention.  The  commissioners  of  the  two  States  met  the  Indian 
chiefs,  who  had  been  assembled  through  the  efforts  of  Nathaniel 
Gist,  at  the  Long  Island  in  May,  1777,  and  drafted  a  treaty, 
which  treaty  was  submitted  to  the  Goivernor  and  Oouncil  of 
Virginia  on  May  28,  1777,  at  which  time  the  Council  entered 
the  following  orders : 

"Having  referred  to  the  Governor  of  this  board  to  direct  a 
treaty  l>egun  with  the  Cherokee  Indians  in  such  manner  as  they 
think  best, 

"Eesolved,  That  the  Governor  be  desired  to  confer  with  the 
C*herokee  chiefs  and  warriors,  from  time  to  time  during  their 
said  meeting,  on  the  subject  of  all  disputes  now  subsisting 
between  them  and  this  State,  and  in  regard  to  the  treaty  of  peace 
now    under    consideration,    and    if    he   receive    any    proposals    to 

248  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

make  a  good  and  proper  answer  to  them,  preparatory  to  com- 
pletion, the  conference  to  be  held  at  the  Great  Island  on  twO' 
days  next  month,  and  this  board  will  attend  at  such  conference 
as  may  be  appointed,  and  that  Dr.  Walker  and  Colonel  Christian 
1)0  desired  to  provide  from  the  public  store,  or,  in  their  place, 
proper  presents  to  be  made  to  the  Indians  now  here  and  consider 
what  is  necessary  to  provide  for  the  Indians  at  the  next  meeting 
at  the  Great  Island. 

"Adjourned  at  10  o'clock. 

-    ''Jolm  Page,  Tho.  Walker, 

"Dudley  Diggs,  Nathaniel    Harrison, 

"John  Blair,  David  Jamison, 

"Bartho    Dandridge. 

"Colonel  William  Christian,  one  of  the  commissioners  ap- 
pointed on  behalf  of  this  State  to  form  a  treaty  of  peace  with 
the  Cherokee  Indians,  having  attended  this  board  with  the  pro- 
ceedings of  himself  and  the  other  commissioners  at  a  treaty  held 
at  the  Great  Island,  in  consequence  of  their  former  instructions, 
upon  considering  the  same  the  board  entirely  appro^ved  thereof, 
and  think  it  necessary  that  the  same  should  be  laid  before  the 
General  Assembly,  which  the  Governor  is  desired  to  do,  and  Col- 
onel William  Christian  having  also  iniormed  the  board  that 
several  of  the  chiefs  and  warrioTS  of  said  nation  of  Indians  will 
accompany  him  to  Williamsburg,  resolved  that  they  be  received 
and  treated  in  the  most  friendly  manner  and  furnished  with  all 
necessaries  until  the  General  Assembly  shall  give  further  direc- 
tions in  the  matter." 

This  treaty  was  not  concluded  until  the  first  day  of  July,  1777. 
By  this  treaty  a  new  boundary  line  was  established  between  the 
settlers  and  the  Indians.  The  boundaries  as  fixed  by  this  treaty 
extended  as  far  down  as  the  mouth  of  Cloud's  creek.  This  treaty 
was  signed  by  all  the  Indian  chiefs  except  Dragging  Canoe,  who 
was  woimded  at  the  battle  of  Long  Island  Flats.  He  said  "that  he 
would  hold  fast  to  the  talks  of  Cameron  the  British  agent  and 
continue  the  war  as  before."  While  the  treaty  was  being  nego- 
tiated two  men  were  murdered  on  the  Clinch  river  by  Dragging 
Canoe  and  some  of  his  men,  and  conduct  of  this  character  was 
continued  for  many  years  on  the  part  of  Dragging  Canoe  and  the 
Chickamauga  Indians. 

Southwest  Virginia,  17JfG-1786.  249 

While  this  treaty  was  being  negotiated  a  great  many  Indians, 
with  their  squaws  and  children,  had  collected  and  were  quartered 
in  the  island,  surrounded  by  a  guard  to  prevent  improper  inter- 
course with  the  whites,  but,  notwithstanding  this  precaut^ion, 
some  abandoned  fellow  shot  across  the  river  and  killed  an  Indian. 
This  produced  great  confusion;  the  Indians  thought  they  were 
betrayed  and  prepared  to  fly,  and  it  was  with  much  exertion  that 
the  officers  and  commissioners  pacified  and  convinced  them  that 
such  was  not  the  fact.  Afterwards,  when  the  Council  met,  the 
Raven  opened  the  conference  on  the  part  of  his  people  by  a  speech 
in  which  he  reverted  to  the  case  of  the  murdered  Indian.  He 
said,  "lest  that  unhappy  affair  should  disturb  the  harmony  and 
sincerity  that  ought  to  exist  at  that  time  between  the  white  and 
red  brethren,  each  party  ought  to  view  it  as  having  happened  so 
long  ago,  that  if,  when  the  Indian  was  buried,  an  acorn  had  been 
thrown  into  his  grave,  it  would  have  sprouted  and  grown  and 
become  a  lofty  spreading  oak,  sufficiently  large  for  them  to  sit 
under  its  shade  and  hold  their  talk. 

This  speech  was  thought  by  many  to  be  equal  to  anything  in 
the  celebrated  speech  of  Logan. 

From  the  fall  of  1775  to  the  close  of  the  Eevolutionary  war, 
the  settlers  in  this  part  of  Virginia  were  compelled  to  occupy 
their  forts  from  early  spring  until  late  in  the  fall,  as  their  settle- 
ments were  constantly  visited  by  bands  of  Cherokee  and  Shaw- 
nese  Indians  sent  upon  them  by  the  British  agents,  but  the  settle- 
ments enjoyed  perfect  freedom  from  the  Indians  from  the  first 
appearance  of  winter  until  the  return  of  spring.  During  this 
interval  of  time  the  Indians  were  deterred  from  making  raids 
into  the  settlements,  by  the  great  danger  of  detection  in  conse- 
quence of  the  nakedness  of  the  trees,  by  the  danger  of  being 
traced  by  their  tracks  in  the  snow,  and  by  the  suffering  pro- 
duced by  exposure  to  cold  while  traveling  and  lying  in  wait.  The 
settlers  took  advantage  of  this  immunity  from  attacks  by  the 
Indians,  cleared  their  lands,  built  their  houses  and  made  everv 
possible  preparation  for  their  crops  during  the  coming  season. 

During  the  summer  of  1776,  elections  were  held  throughout 
the  Commonwealth  for  members  of  the  House  of  Delegates  and 
the  Senate  under  the  new  Constitution.  At  this  election  the  fol- 
lowing persons  were  elected  members  of  the  House  of  Delegates 

850  So'ulliwcfit   Virginia,  ] 746-] 786. 

From  Fincat^tle  county :  Arthur  Campbell  and  William  Eussell. 
And  the  member  of  the  Senate  from  Botetourt  and  Fincastle, 
I  hat  being  the  Tenth  Senatorial  District,  was  Colonel  William 

By  an  ordinance  of  the  convention  of  1775,  adopted  July  15, 
1775,  the  Western  District  ^9.f  Virginia,  of  which  Fincastle  county 
'vas  a  part,  was  required^  to  furnish  sixty-eight  expert  .riflemen 
for  the  regidar  service. 

And  by  an  Act  of  the  Asseml^ly  of  Virginia  adopted  in  Octo- 
l)er,  1776,  a  requisitioii  of  seventy-four  men  was  made  upon  tlie 
:uithorities  of  Fincastle  county  to  be  officered  by  a  captain  a})- 
[)ointed  by  the  Governor. 

A  First  Lieutenant, 

A   Second   Lieutenant, 

and  an  Ensign. 

The  officers  of  the  company  organized  in  Fincastle  county  for 
the  continental  service  in  the  year  177{)  cannot  be  ascertained, 
save  in  one  instance.  « 

John  Buchanan  was  lieutenant  of  this  company  at  its  organ- 
ization, and  was  a  lieutenant  in  the  Seventh  Eegiment  in  the  fall 
of  the  same  year,  and  remained  in  the  service  until  killed  in  the 
year  1777. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  General  Asseml)ly  of  Virginia,  in  the  fall 
of  the  year  1770,  a  petition  from  the  inhal)itants  of  the  western 
parts  of  Fincastle  county  was  presented  to  the  House  and  read ; 
setting  forth  that  they  1)ecame  adventurers  in  that  ])art  of  the 
county  in  the  year  1774,  and  were  obliged  by  the  incursions  of 
the  Indians  to  abandon  their  settlements,  after  having  discovered 
and  explored  the  coiintry ;  that  others  afterwards  became  adven- 
turers and  claimed  the  lands  liy  warrants  from  Lord  Dunmore, 
under  the  royal  proclamation  of  17(53,  and  a  company  of  men 
from  ISToTth  Carolina  purchased,  or  pretended  to  purchase,  from 
tlie  Cherokee  Indians,  all  the  lands  from  the  soaithernmost  waters 
of  Cum'berland  river  to  the  banks  of  the  Louisa  river,  including 
the  lands  in  Powell's  Valley,  by  virtue  of  which  purchase  they 
styled  themselves  the  absolute  proprietoi-s  of  the  new  independent 
Trans3dvania ;  that  officers,  both  civil  and  military,  are  appointed, 
writs  of  election  issued,  assemblies  convened,  a  land  office  opened, 
and   lands   sold   at  an  exorl)itant   price,   and   a   system  of   policy 

Southtvest  Virginia,  17J^6-17S6.  251 

introduced,  not  agreeing  with  that  lately  adopted  b}'  the  late 
United  Colonies,  and  that  they  have  the  greatest  reason  tO'  ques- 
tion the  validity  of  the  purchase  aforesaid;  that  they  consider 
themselves  and  the  said  lands  to  be  in  the  State  of  Virginia, 
whose  legislature  they  acknowledge,  and  to  which  State  they  con- 
ceive they  justly  belong;  that  having  assembled  together  after 
due  notice,  they  elected  two  members  to  represent  them  in  this 
House,  and  hope  they  may  be  received  as  their  delegates;  that 
they  are  ready  and  willing,  to  the  utmost  of  their  abilities,  to 
assist  in  the  support  of  the  present  laudable  cause,  by  contri])ut- 
ing  their  quota  of  men  and  moneys,  and  that  in  order  to  pre- 
serve goO'd  order,  tliey  had,  as  was  done  in  West  Augusta,  elected 
a  committee  consisting  of  twenty-one  members,  and  cheerfully 
submitted  the  case  to  the  House.  This  petition  of  the  inhabi- 
tants of  that  part  of  Fincastle  county,  now  included  within  the 
State  of  Kentucky,  was  accompanied  by  petitions  from  nearly 
all  the  settlers  on  the  Holston  and  Clinch  rivers,  and  was  pre- 
sented to  the  General  Assembly  on  the  eighth  day  of  October, 
1776,  and  the  General  Assembly  on  Friday,  October  11,  1776, 
adopted  the  folloMdng  resolutions : 

"Eesolved,  That  the  inhabitants  of  the  western  part  of  Fincas- 
tle county  not  being  allowed  by  the  law  a  distinct  representation 
in  the  General  Assembly,  the  delegates  chosen  to  represent  them 
in  this  House  cannot  be  admitted.  At  the  same  time  the  com- 
mittee are  of  opinion,  that  the  said  inha])itants  ought  to  be 
formed  into  a  distinct  county,  in  order  to  entitle  them  to  sucli 
representation  and  other  l)enefits  ot  government." 

The  petition  for  the  division  of  Fincastle  county  was  referred  / 
to  a  committee  of  which  Carter  Braxton  was  chairman,  whicli ' 
committee,  through  its  chairman,  on  Tuesday,  October  15,  1776, 
presented  a  bill  foT  the  division  of  the  county  of  Fincastle  into 
two  distinct  counties,  which  bill  was  read  the  first  time  and 
ordered  to  be  read  the  second  time.  On  Wednesday,  October  16, 
1776,  this  bill  was  read  a  second  time  and  was  committed  to 
Thomas  Jefferson  and  the  members  from  Augusta  and  Botetourt 
counties,  and  on  October  17,  1776,  Mr.  Jefferson,  from  the  com- 
mittee to  whom  the  bill  for  dividing  the  county  of  Fincastle  into 
two  distinct  counties  was  committed,  reported  that  the  com- 
mittee had  gone  through  the  bill  and  made  several  amendments 

252  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

thereto,  which  he  read  in  his  place,  and  afterwards  delivered  in 
at  the  clerk's  table,  where  the  same  was  again  twice  read  and 
agreed  to  and  ordered  to  be  engrossed  and  read  a  third  time. 
And,  on  Wednesday,  October  30,  177G,  this  bill  was  ordered  to  be 
committed  to  Mr.  Jefferson,  Mr.  SimnLS,  Mr.  Bullitt  and  the 
members  from  Fincastle,  Augusta  and  Botetourt  counties,  and  on 
November  19,  177G,  Mr.  Mason  and  the  members  from  Frederick, 
Hampshire  and  Bedford  counties  were  added  to  the  committee, 
to  whom  the  bill  for  dividing  the  county  of  Fincastle  into  two 
distinct  counties  was  committed.  And  on  Monday,  November 
26,  1776,  the  bill  for  dividing  the  county  of  Fincastle  into  three 
distinct  counties  was   read   a  third  time,   and   it  was: 

"Eesolved,  That  the  said  bill  do  pass,  and  that  the  title  be,  an 
Act  for  dividing  the  county  of  Fincastle  into  two  distinct  coun- 
ties, and  the  parish  of  Botetourt  intO'  four  distinct  parishes,  and 
Mr.  Arthur  Campbell  was  appointed  to  carry  the  same  to  the 
Senate  for  their  concurrence. 

In  the  Senate,  several  amendments  were  proposed  to  the  bill 
passed   by   the   House,   which   amendments,   being   communicated 
to   the    House,   were   disagreed   to',   whereupon,   the    Senate   com- 
municated with  the  House,  through  Mr.  Ellzey,  as  follows : 
"Mr.   Speaker : 

"The  Senate  do  insist  on  the  amendments  by  them  proposed 
to  the  bill  entitled.  An  Act  for  Dividing  the  County  of  Fincastle 
into  three  distinct  coamties,  and  the  parish  of  Botetourt  into  four 
distinct  parishes.  And  upon  the  amendments  being  again  read, 
it  was,  by  the  House  of  Delegates, 

"Resolved,  That  this  House  do  recede  from  their  disagree- 
ment to  the  said  amendments  proposed  by  the  Senate,  which 
action  of  the  House  having  been  communicated  to  the  Senate,  the 
Senate  insisted  on  the  amendments  proposed  to  the  bill  by  them, 
whereupon,  the  Virginia  House  of  Delegates,  on  December  6, 

"Resolved,  That  this  House  do  insist  on  the  disagreement  to 
said  amendments,  and  that  Mr.  Campbell  do  acquaint  the  Sen- 
ate therewith." 

Which  resolution  being  communicated  to  the  Senate,  the  Act 

i  for  the  dividing  of  the  county   of   Fincastle   into  three   distinct 

counties,  and  the  parish  of  Botetourt  into  four  distinct  parishes, 

Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786.  353 

was  adopted,  the  Senate  having  receded  from  the  amendments 
proposed  by  them. 

This  act  provided  that  from  and  after  the  31st  day  of  Decem- 
ber, 1776,  the  connty  of  Pincastle  shall  be  divided  into  three 
distinct  counties,  to  be  known  by  the  names  of  Montgomery, 
Washington  and  Kentucky. 

Thus  ends  tJie  history  of  Fincastle  county,  in  so  far  as  the 
history  of  that  county  forms  a  part  of  the  history  of  Washing- 
ton county. 

254  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 


WASHINGTOX  COUNTY,  1 777-1 78G. 

The  Act  of  the  General  Assembl}^  of  A^irginia  dividing  the 
county  of  Fincastle  into  three  distinct  counties,  to-wit:  Mont- 
gomer}',  Washington,  and  Kentucky,  was  adopted  by  the  General 
Assembly  of  Virginia  on  the  6th  day  of  December,  1770,  and  pro- 
vided that  from  and  after  the  last  day  of  December,  177G,  the 
said  county  of  Fincastle  should  be  divided  into  three  counties. 
And  this  Act  defines  the  bounds  of  Washington  county  as  follows, 
viz. :  "That  all  that  part  of  said  county  of  Fincastle  included  in 
the  lines  beginning  at  the  Cumberland  mountains  where  the  line 
of  Kentucky  county  intersects  the  North  Carolina  (now  Tennes- 
see) line;  thence  east  along  the  said  Carolina  line  to  the  top  of 
Iron  mountain;  tJience  along  the  same  easterly  to  the  source  or 
the  South  Fork  of  the  Holston  river;  thence  northwardly  alone 
the  highest  part  of  the  highlands,  ridges  and  mountains  that  di- 
vide the  waters  of  the  Tennessee  from  those  of  the  Great  Ka- 
nawha to  the  most  easterly  source  of  Clinch  river;  thence  west- 
wardly  along  the  top  of  the  mountain  that  divides  the  waters  of  the 
Clinch  river  from  those  of  the  Great  Kanawha  and  Sandy  Creek 
to  the  line  of  Kentucky  county,  and  thence  along  the  same 
to  the  beginning,  shall  be  one  other  distinct  county  and  called  and 
known  by  the  name  of  Washington.* 

"The  eastern  boundary  of  Washington  county  as  thus  defined  was 
altered  by  Act  of  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  at  its  session 
in  the  month  of  IMay,  1777,  as  follows:  Beginning  at  a  ford  on 
Holston  river,  next  above  Captain  John  Campbell's,  at  the  Eoyal 
Oak,  and  rimning  from  thence  a  due  south  course  to  the  dividing 
line  between  the  States  of  Virginia  and  North  Carolina ;  and 
from  the  ford  aforesaid  to  the  westerly  end  of  Morris'  Knob,  about 
three  miles  above  Maiden  Spring  on  Clinch,  and  from  thence,  by 
a  line  to  be  drawn  due  north,  until  it  shall  intersect  the  waters  of 
the  Great  Sandy  river." 

The  Act  estal)lishing  the  county  of  Washington  directed  tlmt  the 

*Hening  statutes,  1776. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  255 

justices  named  in  the  commissions  of  the  peace  for  the  said 
county  shouki  meet  at  Black's  Fort,  in  said  county,  on  the  last 
Tuesday  in  January,  1777,  which  day  in  each  month  was  desig- 
nated l)v  said  Act  as  County  Court  day,  and  a  majority  of  the 
justices  .-_;o  commissioned  were  authorized  to  designate  tJie  place 
for  holding  said  court  and  to  elect  a  clerk  for  said  court. 

The  power  to  appoint  the  first  sheriff  of  the  county  was  vested 
in  the  (loA'ernor. 

The  territory  included  within  the  county  of  Washington  as 
thus  established  is  now  embraced  in  the  following  counties : 

Washington,  Tazewell, 

Russell,  Lee, 

Scott,  Buchanan, 

Smyth,  Dickenson, 


a  territory  sufficient  in  extent  and  wealth  to  constitute  a  great 

Governor  Patrick  Henry,  on  the  21st  day  of  December,  1776,  is- 
sued a  commission  of  the  peace  and  dedimus  for  Washington 
county  appointing  the  following  persons  as  justices  of  the  peace 
for  said  county : 

Arthur  Campbell,  William  Edmiston, 

Evan  Shelby,  Joseph  Martin, 

James  Dysart,  John  Campbell, 

John  Anderson,  Alexander  Buchanan, 

John  Coulter,  John  Kinkead, 

William  Campbell,  James  Montgomery, 

Daniel  Smith,  John  Snoddy, 

George  Blackburn  and  Thomas  Mastin, 

and  on  the  same  day  he  issued  his  commission  appointing  the  fol- 
lowing officers  f-or  the  said  county : 

Sheriff — James  Dysart, 
County  Lieutenant — Arthur  Campbell, 
Colonel — Evan  Shelby, 
Lieutenant-Colonel — William  Campbell, 
IMajor — Daniel  Smith. 

The  first  court  of  said  county  assembled  at  Black's  Fort  (now 
Abingdon)  on  the  last  Tuesday  in  January,  1777,  being  the  28th 

256  Southwest  Yirgima,  1746-1786. 

(lay  of  that  month,  pursuant  to  the  Act  of  the  Assembly  establish- 
ing the  county,  on  which  day  William  Campbell  and  Joseph  Mar- 
tin, two  of  the  justices  commissioned  by  the  Governor,  adminis- 
tered the  oath  of  a  justice  of  the  peace  and  of  a  justice  of  tlie 
County  Court  in  Chancery  to  Arthur  Campbell,  the  first  justice 
named  in  said  commission,  and  he  afterwards  administered  the 
aforesaid  oaths  to : 

William  Campbell,  William  Edmiston, 

John  Campbell,  Joseph  Martin, 

John  Kinkead,  John  Anderson,^ 

James  Montgomery,  John  Snoddy, 

and   George  Blackburn. 

The  court  thus  assembled,  constituting  a  majority  of  the  jus- 
tices commissioned  by  the  Governor,  proceeded  to  the  election  o' 
a  clerk,  when  David  Campbell  was  elected  clerk. 

At  the  time  Washington  county  was  established  by  law  Colo- 
nel Arthur  Campbell  and  Colonel  William  Eussell  represented 
Fincastle  county  in  the  House  of  Delegates,  and  Colonel  William 
Christian  represented  the  district  in  the  Senate  of  Virgiinia. 
Colonel  Campbell  andj  Colonel  Eussell  resided  in  that  portion  of 
Fincastle  county  afterwards  included  in  the  bounds  of  W^ashington 
county.  Colonel  Russell  and  Colonel  Christian  had  served  with 
General  Washington  in  the  Continental  Armyf  while  Colonel 
Arthur  Campbell  had  been  a  member  of  the  Convention  that 
adopted  the  Constitution  establishing  the  Co^mmonwealth  of  A^ir- 
ginia,  which  Convention  elected  General  George  Washington  a 
member  of  the  Continental  Congress  which  assembled  in  Philadcl- 
\)hm  in  1776.  It  is  not  definitely  known  who  suggested  the  name 
of  Washington  for  the  new  county;  and  while  the  question  is  'n 
doubt,  still  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  Colonel  Arthur  Camp- 
bell was  the  author  of  the  idea,  as  it  appears  from  the  proceedings* 
of  the  House  of  Delegates  that  he  was  designated  by  the  House  to 
convey  the  information  to  the  Senate  of  Virginia  that  the  House 
had  passed  the  Act  establishing  the  county. 

But  without  regard  to  who  suggested  the  name  for  the  new 
county  it  is  a  fact  that  this  is  the  first  locality  in  the  United  States 
that  was  honored  with  the  name  of  the  "Father  of  Our  Country." 
The  Act  establishing  the  new  county  was  agreed  to  by  the  general 

Washington  County,  1777-1S70.  257 

Assembly  of  Virginia  on  December  6,  1776,  and  the  county  gov-  . 
ernment  was  organized  on  January  28,  1777. 

Tennessee  and  N^orth  Carolina  historians  insist  that  Washington 
county,  Tennessee,  was  the  first  locality  in  the  Union  to  receive 
the  name  of  Washington,  but,  by  an  examination  of  the  North 
Carolina  records,  it  will  be  ascertained  that  Wasliington  district?, 
North  Carolina  (now  Tennessee),  was  not  mentioned  until  April, 
1777,  and  the  county  of  Washington,  North.  Carolina  (now  Ten- 
nessee), was  not  established  by  the  G-eneral  Assembly  of  Nortli 
Carolina  until  November,  1777. 

Black's  Fort,  the  locality  of  the  meeting  of  the  first  court  of 
Washington  county,  was  erected  in  the  year  1776  on  the  lands  of 
Captain  Joseph  Black,  on  the  west  bank  or  near  the  west  banl: 
of  what  was  then  known  as  Eighteen  Miles  Creek,  alias  Castle's 
Creek,  by  the  settlers  living  in  the  vicinity,  and  about  five  hun- 
dred other  settlers  who  hg,d  fled  from  their  homes  west  of  Abing- 
don iipon  the  outbreak  of  the  Indian  War  in  1776.  It  was  one 
of  those  rude  structures  which  the  pioneers  were  accustomed 
to  make  for  defence  against  the  Indians,  consisting  of  a  few 
log  cabins  surrounded  by  a  stockade.  The  locality  of  this  fort  was 
about  twenty-five  yards  south  of  the  Norfolk  and  Western  rail- 
road, in  the  Knob  road,  and  near  the  brick  cottage,  the  property 
of  Charles  F.  Palmer. 

In  the  fall  of  the  year  1879,  Captain  Frank  S.  Findlay,  while 
excavating  for  a  place  for  a  turbine  wheel  near  this  place,  discov- 
ered a  portion  of  an  old  wall  constructed  of  rock  and  logs  some  five 
or  six  feet  below  the  surface,  and  in  the  wall  was  found  an  arrow 
made  from  the  heart  of  a  white  oak,  with  a  sharp  iron  spike  af- 
fixed. This  wall  was  a  part,  of  the  old  fort,  and  it  is  not  improb- 
able that  this  arrow  was  sped  there  by  an  Indian.  In  the  year  1796 
a  mill  dam  was  erected  about  fifty  yards  south  of  this  old  wall.* 

The  first  court  of  Washington  county  was  in  session  two  days, 
January  28th-29th.  The  first  day  of  the  term  was  occupied  in 
qualifying  the  members  of  the  court,  the  election  of  a  clerk,  the 
qualifications  of  militia  officers,  as  above  given,  and  the  granting 
of  letters  of  administration  in  several  cases.  Upon  the  second  day 
of  the  term  the  first  matter  of  importance  that  received  the  atten- 
tion of  the  court  was  the  appointment  of  William  Campbell,  Wil- 

*Black's  Mill  Dam. 

258  Southwest  Vinjinia,  17Jff>-17SG. 

liain  Edmiston,  John  Anderson  and  George  Blaekhnrn  as  com- 
missioners to  hire  wagons  to  luring  up  the  county  salt  allowed 
by  the  Governor  and  Council,  and  to  receive  and  distribute  the 
same  agreeably  to  said  order  of  Council. 

Some  ]x^o])k',  in  speaking  of  this  order  of  the  County  Court, 
have  expressed  surprise  that  such  an  order  should  have  been  en- 
tered by  the  court  of  a  county  in  which  was  located  great  beds  of 
salt,  and,  further,  tliat  the  Governor  and  Council  thus  allotted 
salt  to  this  county. 

At  the  time  this  order  was  entered  salt  was  a  rare  article  and 
exceedingly  valualile,  and  was  not  known  to  exist  in  this  country. 
So  difficult  was  it  to  supply  the  demands  for  salt  that  in  the  year 
177G  the  General  Assembly  of  A^irginia  enacted  the  following  law : 

"Resolved  that  the  Governor,  with  the  advice  of  the  Privy  Coun- 
cil, be  empowered  tO'  purchase,  on  account  of  the  public  and  at  a 
generous  price,  all  the  salt  that  may  be  imported  into  this  coun- 
try in  the  course  of  the  next  six  months,  and  that  he  be  authorized 
to  issue  his  warrant  on  the  treasurer  to  pay  for  the  same:  that 
such  salt  when  purchased  be  immediately  stored  in  some  convenient 
and  secure  parts  of  the  country,  and  distributed  by  order  of  the 
Governor,  with  the  advice  of  the  Council,  amongst  the  inhabi- 
tants of  the  different  counties,  im  such  proportion  as  their  exi- 
gencies and  the  quantity  procured  may  admit,  regard  being  prin- 
cipally had  to  such  counties  as  are  farthest  removed  from  salt 
water;  and  that  the  receivers  of  the  salt  do  pay  into  the  hands 
of  such  persons  as  may  be  appointed  for  that  purpose,  at  the  time 
of  the  delivery,  so  much  per  Inishel,  as  the  Governor,  with  the  advice 
of  the  Council,  may  judge  reasonable ;  the  money  when  received  ^o 
be  paid  with  all  convenient  dispatch  into  the  treasur}^  for  reim- 
bursing the  publick." 

It  was  pursuant  to  the  order  of  the  Governor  and  Council,  acting 
upon  the  authority  of  this  act,  that  the  commissioners  were 
appointed.  On  the  second  day  the  court  proceeded  to  appoint  a 
number  of  officers  to  take  a  list  of  tithables  and  of  the  quantity  of 
taxable  lands  in  the  county. 

The  following  commissioners  were  appointed  by  tlie  court  to 
do  this  work  in  the  localities  mentioned,  to-wit: 

Joseph  Martin,  on  north  side  Clinch  mountain,  high  as  Glade 
Hollow.     John  Kinkead,  Glade  Hollow  to  head  of  Clinch.     John 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  25D 

Campbell,  head  of  Holston  to  Stalnaker's  direct  across.  William 
Edmiston,  Stalnaker's  to  Black's  Fort,  direct  across.  James  Mont- 
gomery, Black's  Fort  to  Major  Bledsoe's.  John  Anderson,  from 
Major  Bledsoe's  as  low  as  there  are  settlers.  At  the  same  time 
the  court  appointed  the  following  constables :  Rawley  Duncan, 
from  Castle's  Woods  to  lowest  settlement.  James  Wharton,  Castle's 
Woods  to  Glade  Hollow.  James  Laughlin,  Glade  Hollow,  to  upper 
settlement  Elk  Garden.  William  Lean,  head  of  Holston  to  Seven- 
Mile  Ford.  Robert  Brown,  Seven-Mile  Ford  to  Eleven-Mile  Creek. 
Christopher  Acklin,  Eleven-Mile  Creek  to  Ford  of  Beaver  Creek. 
John  Fain,  Eleven-Mile  Creek  to  Sinking  Creek.  James  Steel, 
Ford  Beaver  Creek  to  Amos  Eaton's.  At  the  same  time  the  fol- 
lowing surveyors  of  roads  were  appointed :  Alexander  Wylie,  from 
county  line  to  Charles  Hayes.  John  Hays,  from  Charles  Hays'  to 
Mill  Creek.  Jacob  Anderson,^ from  Mill  Creek  to  Seven-Mile  Ford. 
Aaron  Lewis,  Seven-Mile  Ford  to  Big  Spring.  Andrew  Kincan- 
non  from  Big  Spring  to  James  Kincannon's.  James  Bryan,  from 
James  Kincannon's  to  Joseph  Black's.  Andrew  Colvill,  from 
Joseph  Black's  to  Ford  Beaver  Creek.  Benjamin  Gray,  Ford  Bea- 
ver Creek  to  Steel's  Creek.  David  Steel,  from  Steel's  Creek  to 
the  meeting  house.  Amos  Eaton,  from  meeting  house  to  Fort 
Patrick  Henry.  Thomas  Berry,  Watauga  Road,  James  Bryan's  to 
James  Montgomery's.  William  Young,  Captain  Montgomery's  to 
Isaac  Riddle's.    John  Cox,  Isaac  Riddle's  to  Ford  of  Holston. 

The  names  as  above  given  and  the  localities  assigned  to  each  are 
important  in  this,  that  they  definitely  indicate  the  established 
roads  in  the  county  at  the  beginning  of  our  local  government,  and 
define,  with  reasonable  certainty,  the  extent  of  the  settlements  at 
that  time.  Many  readers  will  be  surprised  to  know  that  the  Vir- 
ginia authorities  appointed  officials  and  exercised  jurisdiction  over 
the  country  (now  Tennessee),  as  low  down  as  Fort  Patrick  Henry, 
thirty  miles  below  Bristol.  The  explanation  is  that  our  people 
supposed  the  Holston  river  to  be  the  dividing  line  between  the  two 
States,  Virginia  and  North  Carolina.  At  this  time  and  for  several 
years  thereafter,  Virginia  exercised  jurisdiction,  collected  taxes 
and  gave  protection  to  the  settlers  as  low  down  as  Carter's  Valley 
in  Tennessee. 

On  the  second  day  of  the  court,  Isaac  Shelby,  Robert  Craig,  John 
Dunkin  and  John  Adair,  were  recommended  to  the  Governor  as 

260  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

proper  persons  to  be  added  to  the  Commission  of  the  Peace  for  the 
connty,  and  they  were  commissioned  accordingly.  On  the  same 
day  the  court  recommended  to  Edmnnd  Eandolph,  Attorney  for 
the  Commonwealth,  Ephraim  Dunlop,  as  a  proper  person  to  act 
as  Deputy  Attorney  for  the  Commonwealth  in  this  connty,  and  he 
was  commissioned  accordingly,  and  became  the  first  practising 
attorney  for  the  Commonwealth  in  this  connty. 

On  the  same  day  the  conrt  ordered  that  the  house  adjoining  that 
whicli  tlie  court  is  held  in,  be  a  prison,  and  that  the  sheriff  be 
empowered  to  employ  some  person  to  put  it  in  the  best  repair  he 

The  statement  has  been  made  by  a  very  worthy  citizen  of  Wash- 
ington county  of  former  days,*  "that  the  first  court  of  this  connty 
assembled  in  a  grove  on  the  hillside  south  of  Greenway's  store,  but 
in  view  of  the  above  order  of  the  court,  this  statement  is  inaccu- 
rate, as  the  court  was  held  within  the  stockade  of  Black's  Fort,  and 
the  house  designated  as  a  prison  was  within  the  same  stockade. 

At  the  time  in  question,  the  courts  of  the  country  undertook  to 
regulate  the  private  affairs  of  the  citizens  to  a  much  greater  extent 
than  at  the  present  time,  which  can  be  accoimted  for  by  the  fact 
that  our  people  had  just  shaken  off  the  heavy  hand  of  monarchy 
and  established,  for  the  first  time,  constitutional  government. 

As  an  example  of  the  extent  to  which  the  private  concerns  of  the 
people  were  then  regulated  by  government,  the  court  of  this  county, 
on  the  second  day  of  its  term,  fixed  the  price  of  liquors  as  follows : 
Eum,  16s.  per  gallon ;  Eye  whiskey,  8s. ;  corn  whiskey,  4s. ;  a  bowl  of 
rum  toddy,  with  loaf  sugar,  2s.,  with  brown  sugar  Is. 

And  at  the  March  term,  1779,  it  fixed  the  price  of  a  warm  din- 
ner at  15s.;  cold  dinner,  9s.;  for  a  good  breakfast,  12s.;  oats  or 
corn  at  4s.  per  gallon;  good  lodging  with  clean  sheets,  2s.  Stab- 
blidge,  with  hay  or  fodder,  2s.,  and  good  pasturage  the  same. 

After  the  transaction  of  considerable  business,  on  the  afternoon 
of  the  29th  day  of  January,  1777,  the  first  court  of  the  county 
adjourned,  to  court  in  course,  which  was  the  last  Tuesday  in  Feb- 
ruary, being  the  25th  day  of  that  month,  on  which  day  the  court 
assembled  at  Black's  Fort,  with  several  members  present.  The  first 
business  of  importance  transacted  was  the  qualification  of  Luke 
Bowyer  to  practice  as  an  attorney  in  this  court,  and,  thereupon. 

*Charle3  B..  Coale. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  261 

the  court  proceeded  to  the  examination  of  Edward  Bond,  on  suspi- 
cion of  his  having  murdered  Thomas  Jones.  The  court  heard  the 
evidence  and  acquitted  the  prisoner.  On  the  following  day  the 
court  proceeded  to  the  examination  of  the  same  Edward  Bond, 
upon  suspicion  of  his  having  stolen  a  small  bay  mare  of  the  value 
of  fifteen  pounds,  and  upon  a  hearing  of  the  evidence  against  him, 
he  was  held  for  trial  at  the  General  Court,  at  the  capitol  in  the 
city  of  Williamsburg." 

The  student  of  our  early  history  must  be  impressed  with  thi^5 
fact,  that  our  forefathers  would  give  to  the  prisoner  charged  with 
murder  the  benefit  of  every  reasonable  doubt,  while,  on  the  other 
band,  they  would  give  the  prisoner  charged  with  horse-stealing,  the 
maximum  punishment  prescribed  by  law,  if  there  existed  against 
him  a  strong  suspicion. 

On  the  26th  day  of  February,  1777,  the  court  proceeded  to  recom- 
mend to  the  Governor  of  Virginia  the  militia  officers  for  Wash- 
ington county,  which  officers  were  duly  commissioned  and  were 
as  follows: 

Captains : 

William  Edmiston,  John  Campbell,  Royal  Oak; 

Joseph  Martin,  John  Shelby,  Sr. ; 

James  Montgomery,  Eobert  Buchanan,  Sr,, 

Aaron  Lewis,  John  Duncan, 

Gilbert  Christian,  James  Shelby, 

James  Dysart,  Thomas  Mastin, 

John  Campbell,  John  Kinkead, 

V  John  Anderson,  William  Bowen, 

George  Adams,  Eobert  Craig, 

Andrew  Colvill,  James  Eobertson,  Watauga. 

Ijieutenants  of  Militia : 

David  Beattie,  James  Maxwell, 

Samuel  Hays,  John  Snoddy, 

David  Ward,  John  Coulter, 

Thomas  Price,  Eoger  Topp, 

George  Freeland,  John  Anderson, 

James  Fulkerson,  George  Maxwell, 

John  Berry,  William  Blackburn, 

Charles  Campbell,  Andrew  Kincannon, 

262  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

Lieutenants  of  Militia — Con. 
John  Frazier,  C!harles  Allison, 

Alexander  Wylie,  Joseph  Black. 

Ensigns  of  Militia: 

Thomas  Whitten,  Eees  Bowen, 

Solomon  Litton,  Henry  Dickenson, 

Abraham  McClelland,  William  Eosebrough, 

John  Loony,  Josiah  Eamsey, 

James  Elliott,  William  Young, 

John  Davis,  William  Casey, 

John  Wilson,  John  Lowry, 

James  Shaw,  William  ISTeal, 

James  Crabtree,  Arthur  Bowen, 

Eobert  Davis,  Alexander  Barnett. 

Colonel  Arthur  Campbell,  immediately  upon  his  qualification  as 
county  lieutenant  of  Washington  coointy,  proceeded  to  organize  the 
militia  of  the  county,  and  place  the  same  upon  such  footing  as  they 
would  be  able  to  repel  any  attack  that  might  be  made  upon  the  set- 
tlers on  the  frontiers,  the  most  exposed  part  of  which  was  in  Car- 
ter's Valley  and  the  Watauga  settlement  in  the  vicinity  of  Eliza- 
bethton,  Tennessee. 

On  the  31st  day  of  March,  1777,  he  requested  James  Eobertson, 
a  captain  in  the  militia  of  this  county,  residing  at  Watauga  to  fur- 
nish him  with  a  list  of  the  settlers  at  Watauga,  that  he  might  loiow 
their  strength  and  give  such  orders  as  were  necessary  for  their  pro- 
tection. Captain  Eobertson  furnished  the  list,  whereupon  Colonel 
Campbell,  in  view  of  the  danger  in  which  the  settlements  stood, 
directed  Eobertson  to  assemble  the  settlers  in  one  or  two  places, 
and  he  recommended  Eice's  and  Patterson's  Mills  as  the  most  pro- 
per ones.  "Let  yoair  company  be  at  Eice's,"  said  he,  "and  Captain 
Gilbert  Christian  may  come  to  Patterson's  Mill." 

There  was  to  have  been  a  complete  suspension  of  hostilities 
between  the  Cherokee  Indians  and  the  white  settlers,  from  the 
return  of  Colonel  Christian,  in  the  fall  of  1776,  until  the  month 
of  May,  1777,  the  time  set  for  the  negotiation  of  a  treaty  at  Long 
Island.  Notwithstanding  the  fact  that  the  Indians  had  agreed  to 
a  suspension  of  hostilities,  and  that  there  were  four  hundred 
soldiers  stationed  at  Long  Island,  under  the  command  of  Colonel 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  263 

Evan  Shelby  and  Major  Anthony  Bledsoe,  numerous  hostilities 
were  committed  by  the  Indians.  Several  murders  were  committed 
on  the  frontiers,  and  on  the  10th  of  April,  1777,  James  Calvatt  was 
shot  and  scali3ed.  The  Indians  who  killed  Calvatt  were  pursued 
by  Captain  James  Eobertson  and  nine  men,  who  killed  one  Indian 
and  retook  ten  horses,  but,  upon  his  return  from  the  pursuit  of  the 
Indians,  he  and  his  men  were  attacked  by  a  party  of  Creeks  and 
Cherokees,  who  wounded  two  of  his  men  and  forced  him  to  retreat. 
At  the  same  time  two  men  were  killed  on  Clinch  river,  and  it 
developed  that  the  Indians  had  numerous  parties  out  murdering 
and  plundering  whenever  possible.  The  Indians  put  the  blame  of 
this  trouble  upon  Dragging  Canoe,  the  Indian  chief,  who,  upon 
receiving  a  wound  at  the  battle  of  Long  Island  Flats,  on  July  20, 
1776,  had  retired  to  the  Chickamauga  country  and  refused  to 
talk  of  peace. 

In  the  spring  of  the  year  1777,  pursuant  to  the  provisions  of  the 
Constitution  of  the  Commonwealtli  of  Virginia,  an  election  was  held 
for  members  of  the  G-eneral  Assembly  from  Washington  county, 
at  which  election  Arthur  Campbell  and  William  Edmiston  were 
opposed  by  Anthony  Bledsoe  and  William  Cocke. 

The  qualification  of  electors  voting  at  said  election  was  as  fol- 
lows: "Every  free  white  man,  who,  at  the  time  of  the  election, 
shall  have  been  for  one  year  preceding,  in  possession  of  twenty- 
five  acres  of  land  with  a  house  and  plantation  thereon,  or  one  hun- 
dred acres  of  land  without  a  house  and  plantation  thereon,  and 
having  right  for  an  estate  for  life,  at  least,  in  the  said  land,  in 
his  O'Wn  right  or  in  the  right  of  his  wife,  was  entitled  to  a  vote." 

This  election  was  hotly  contested  and  resulted  in  favor  of 
Anthony  Bledsoe  and  William  Cocke,  two  gentlemen  who  after- 
wards became  distinguished  in  the  history  of  Tennessee,  William 
Cocke  being  one  of  the  two  United  States  Senatoi-s  elected  to  repre- 
sent the  State  of  Tennessee,  at  the  date  of  its  formation,  in  the 
Senate  of  the  United  States. 

Colonel  Arthur  Campbell  and  Captain  William  Edmiston,  on  the 
20th  day  of  May,  1777,  filed  a  petition  with  the  House  of  Dele- 
gates of  Virginia,  setting  forth  that  the  petitioners,  with  Anthony 
Bledsoe  and  William  Cocke,  were  candidates  at  the  last  election  of 
delegates  for  the  county  of  Washington;  that  on  the  close  of  the 
poll  it  appeared  that  the  greatest  number  of  votes  taken  were  in 

264  Southwest  Virginia,  174G-17SG. 

favor  of  Anthony  Bledsoe  and  William  Cocke,  owing,  as  they  con- 
ceive, to  many  votes  being  given  in  by  persons  who  reside  in  North 
Carolina  and  by  others  not  entitled  to  vote ;  that  they  apprehend  the 
said  Bledsoe  is  incapable  of  sitting  as  a  member  of  the  legislature, 
he  having  a  military  command  which  excluded  him  by  the  consti- 
tution; tliat  the  said  Cocke  is  not  possessed  of  such  landed  prop- 
erty in  the  county  as  is  required  by  law,  not  to  mention  some 
instances  of  bribery  and  corruption  practised  contrary  to  the  spirit 
of  the  present  government;  that  these  matters  give  dissatisfaction 
to  what  they  believe  to  be  a  majority  of  the  legal  electors  in  the 
said  county;  and  submitting  themselves  to  such  determination  as 
shall  be  thought  reasonable  and  just.  Thus  our  county  was  hon- 
ored by  a  contested  election  in  the  dawn  of  its  history,  which  must 
have  excited  a  good  deal  of  feeling  among  the  pioneers  of  the  Hols- 
ton  and  the  Clinch. 

During  the  same  session  of  the  General  Assembly,  Mr.  Banister, 
chairman  of  the  Committee  on  Privileges  and  Elections,  reported 
toi  the  legislature  that  the  committee  had  agreed  upon  a  report  and 
had  comie  to  several  resolutions  thereupon,  which  they  had  directed 
him  to  report  to  the  House.  Having  read  the  report  in  his 
place,  he  afterwards  delivered  it  in  at  the  clerk's  table,  where 
the  same  was  read  and  was  as  foHoweth — viz. : 

"As  to  the  first  charge  contained  in  the  said  petition  against  the 
sitting  members,  as  not  having  a  greater  number  of  legal  votes  than 
the  petitioners,  it  appears  to  your  committee,  from  a  certificate  of 
tlie  sheriff  of  the  county  of  Washington,  that  upon  the  close  of  the 
poll,  the  number  of  the  voters  stood  as  follows — to-wit: 

For  Mr.   Anthony  Bledsoe    297 

For  Mr.  William  Cocke ■: 294 

For  Mr.  Arthur  Campbell 211 

For  Mr.  William  Edmiston    144 

It  also  appears  to  your  committee  by  a  line  run  by  Colonel  John 
Donaldson  between  this  State  and  North  Carolina,  as  far  as  the 
Holston  river,  that  should  it  be  continued  in  the  same  latitude  to 
where  it  would  intersect  the  north  fork  of  Holston  river,  a  consider- 
able number  of  those  who  voted  for  the  sitting  members  would  be 
left  in  North  Carolina,  and  if  allowed  the  right  of  suffrage  in 
the  said  county  of  Washington,  would  give  them  the  greatest  num- 
ber of  legal  votes. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  265 

It  farther  appears  to  your  committee,  from  the  information  of 
Thomas  Walker,  Esq.,  that  from  the  most  accurate  observations  he 
has  been  able  to  make,  the  Great  Island  on  the  Holston  river  lies 
in  this  State,  and  that,  shonld  a  direct  line  rnn  from  where  the 
said  Donaldson's  terminated  to  the  said  island,  the  greater  number 
of  voters  living  in  the  bend  of  Holston  river  would  be  taken  into 
the  county  of  Washington,  and  that  such' line  would  in  many  places 
intersect  the  river. 

It  appears  to  your  committee  from  the  information  of  Colonel 
William  Christian  that  he  brought  a  writ  of  ejectment  in  the 
County  Court  of  Fincastle  for  a  tract  of  land  lying  near  the  Hol- 
ston river,  between  the  Great  Island  and  the  termination  of  Don- 
aldson's line ;  that  the  person  who  was  in  possession  of  the  land  and 
defended  the  suit,  pleaded  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  court,  which 
was  overruled  and  he  obtained  a  judgment. 

It  farther  appears  to  your  committee,  from  the  testimony  of 
James  Thompson,  that  he  acted  as  sheriff  in  the  county  formerly 
Fincastle  in  the  years  1774  and  1775,  during  which  time  he  col- 
lected levies  and  taxes  from  those  people  who  reside  on  the  north 
side  of  the  Holston  river  as  low  down  as  within  about  six  miles  of 
the  great  island,  which  was  esteemed  the  reputed  bounds  of  Vir- 
ginia. As  to  the  second  article  of  charge  contained  in  the  petition 
touching  Mr.  Bledsoe's  holding  a  military  command,  it  appears 
to  3'-our  committee  that  Mr.  Bledsoe  holds  no  other  commission 
than  that  of  a  major  in  the  militia. 

As  to  the  article  of  charge  against  Mr.  Cocke,  as  not  being  a  land- 
holder and  resident  in  the  said  county  of  Washington,  it  appears 
to  your  committee,  from  the  testimony  of  James  Thompson  and 
John  Montgomer3^  that  Mr.  Cocke  was  possessed,  under  a  survey, 
of  more  than  one  hundred  acres  of  land  for  one  year  preceding 
the  election,  hath  resided  in  the  county  formerly  Fincastle,  with 
a  family,  several  years,  until  some  time  in  February  last,  when 
Mr.  Cocke  moved  part  of  his  family  out  of  the  country  for  fear 
of  an  Indian  war,  but  continues  there  himself  the  greater  part  of 
his  time. 

That  the  said  John  Montgomery  was  present  when  the  poll  was 
closed  and  heard  the  sheriff  proclaim  the  sitting  members  duly 

As  to  the  last  article  of  charge  respecting  the  bribery  and  cor- 

266  Southwest  Virginia,  171,6-1786. 

ruption,  it  appears  to  your  committee  to  be  groundless.   Whereupon 
your  committee  came  to  the  following  resolutions : 

Resolved,  as  the  opinion  of  this  committee,  That  the  said 
Anthony  Bledsoe  and  William  Cocke  were  duly  elected  to  serve  as 
delegates  in  this  present  General  Assembly  for  the  county  of  Wash- 

The  said  resolutions  being  severally  read  a  second  time,  were, 
upon  the  question  severally  put  thereupon,  agreed  tO'  by  the  House."* 

While  the  people  of  Washington  county,  Virginia,  may  feel  some 
pride  in  knowing  that  our  people  explored  East  Tennessee  and 
furnished  the  rule  of  action  by  which  her  early  settlers  were  gov- 
erned, on  the  other  hand  East  Tennesseeans  will  find  pride  in  the 
fact  that  they  furnished  Washington  county,  Virginia,  her  first 
representatives  in  the  Assembly  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Virginia. 

This  election  was  held  at  Black's  Port,  the  county  seat  of  Wash- 
ington county,  and  every  elector  in  the  county  was  required  to 
attend  and  cast  his  vote  in  person,  under  a  penalty,  and  we  may 
well  imagine  what  a  busy  appearance  the  neighborhood  of  Black's 
Fort  presented  that  day,  946  men  from  Powell's  Valley,  Clinch 
Valley,  Holston,  Carter's  Valley  and  Watauga,  Tennessee. 

On  the  29th  day  of  April,  1777,  the  ancestor  of  a  great  many 
people  whose  names  have  been  honorably  associated  with  the  his- 
tory of  Washington  county  ^appeared  in  court.  He  was  not  a 
stranger  to  this  section,  nor  was  he  a  stranger  to  the  members  of 
that  court.  He  had  long  been  a  deputy  surveyor,  under  William 
Preston,  surveyor  of  Fincastle  county,  and  had  previously  thereto 
surveyed  for  the  citizens  of  Holston  large  and  numerous  tracts 
of  land.  His  name  was  Eobert  Preston,  and  on  that  day  he  pre- 
sented to  the  court  a  commission  from  the  masters  of  William  and 
Mary  College,  appointing  him  surveyor  of  Washington  county. 
The  position  of  county  surveyor  was  at  that  time,  the  most  lucra- 
tive position  to  be  found  in  any  of  the  counties  and  was  much 
sought  after.  William  Preston,  of  Smithfield,  as  well  as  Robert 
Preston,  had  long  been  actively  engaged  by  Colonel  James  Patton 
and  the  Tjoyal  Tiand  Company,  in  surveying  and  locating  their 
grants  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  and  eight  hundred 
thousand  acres  of  land  in  Southwest  Virginia.  For  this  reason 
they  had  incurred  the  displeasure  of  many  of  the  people  of  South- 

*Joxirnal  House  of  Delegates,   1777. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  267 

western  Virginia,  and  particulaiiy  that  of  Colonel  Arthur  Camp- 
bell and  his  family,  men  who  were  ambitious  and  who  felt  it  their 
right  to  rule.  Whether  this  was  the  reason  for  the  action  of  the 
court,  or  whether  the  reason  is  correctly  stated  in  the  order  of 
the  court  cannot  be  stated.    The  court  entered  the  following  order: 

"Eobert  Preston,  Gent.,  produced  a  commission  from  the  Mas- 
ters of  William  and  Mary  College  appointing  him  a  surveyor  of 
Washington,  and  it  is  the  opinion  of  the  court  that  the  same  should 
not  be  received,  as  it  is  issued  by  virtue  of  a  prerogative  from 
the  Crown  of  England." 

If  the  order  of  this  coiirt  correctly  stated  the  motive  of  the 
court,  there  can  be  no  question  that  the  court  detested  the  Crown 
of  England  and  everything  emanating  therefrom. 

Eobert  Preston  appealed  from  this  order  of  the  County  Court 
of  Washington  county,  to  the  General  Court  at  Williamsburg, 
which  appeal  was  pending  for  some  time,  during  which  time,  Eobert 
Preston  produced  a  surveyor's  commission  from  the  Masters  of 
William  and  Mary  College,  dated  January  23,  1777,  to  the  County 
Court,  ol  this  county,  and  desired  to  be  qualified  by  the  said  court, 
but  his  application  was  refused  by  the  court,  as  there  was  an  appeal 
pending  in  the  General  Court  for  a  refusal  of  the  same  character. 

AVhile  the  appeal  of  Eobert  Preston  was  pending  in  the  General 
Court,  numerously  signed  petitions  were  presented  to  the  General 
Assembly  of  Virginia,  praying  that  lx)dy  to  confer  the  power  ol 
selecting  coamty  surveyors  upon  the  Coimty  Courts  of  the  several 
counties,  but  Eobert  Preston  seemed  to  have  the  ear  of  government, 
and  all  petitions  were  rejected. 

I  cannot  say  what  disposition  was  made  of  the  appeal  of  Eobert 
Preston,  but  from  an  inspection  of  the  records  of  the  County  Court 
of  this  county,  the  following  information  is  gathered :  "Eobert 
Preston,  Gent.,  produced  a  commission  from  Thos.  Jefferson,  Gov. 
of  the  Commonwealth  of  Virginia,  being  dated  the  22nd  day  of 
December,  1779,  appointing  him  Surveyor  of  the  County  of  Wash- 
ington, and  gave  bond  with  James  Dysart  and  Aaron  Lewis,  his 
securities,  in  the  sum  of  20,000  pounds  for  the  faithful  discharge 
of  his  oflfico  and  took  the  oath  of  office." 

This  office  he  filled  until  the  year  1831,  a  little  more  than  fifty- 
one  years.  The  bad  feeling  between  thePreston  and  Campbell  fam- 
ilies continued  for  many  years,   during  which  time  there  was  a 

268  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

resort  to  arms.  A  duel  was  fought  and  a  member  of  the  Campbell 
family  wounded,  but  I  am  happy  to  say  this  feeling  has  long  since 
died  out,  and  the  two  families  for  many  years  have  been  intimately 
connected,  socially  and  otherwise. 

The  settlers  on  the  Plolston  and  Clinch,  during  the  years  1776- 
1777,  had  been  greatly  harassed  by  the  invasion  of  the  Indians, 
and  thereby  prevented  from  making  anything  like  a  crop  from  their 
lands.  They  had  also  been  required  to  furnish  supplies  to  Colonel 
Christian  and  his  army  of  two  thousand  men,  upon  their  invasion 
of  the  Cherokee  country,  and  the  country  was  thereby  greatly 
impoverished  before  the  crops  in  the  year  1777  were  harvested. 
The  good  citizens,  the  relatives  and  friends  of  the  settlers,  living 
in  Augusta  county,  contributed  through  Mr.  Alexander  St.  Clair 
considerable  sums  of  money,  and  provisions,  for  the  relief  of  the 
settlers  on  the  frontiers,  and  the  County  Court  of  this  county, 
besides  entering  the  following  order,  directed  Captain  William 
Campbell  to  have  Mr.  St.  Clair  to  lay  out  the  money  in  his  hands 
for  wheat. 

"Ordered  that  Joseph  Martin,  John  Kinkead,  John  Coulter,  Gil- 
bert Christian,  William  Campbell  and  Thomas  Mastin,  who  are 
hereby  appointed  as  commissioners  to  distribute  the  flour  con- 
tributed in  Augusta  county  or  elsewhere  for  the  distressed  inhabi- 
tants of  this  county,  and  to  hire  wagons  to  bring  the  same  to  this 

This  is  the  only  instance  save  one,  in  the  history  of  this  county, 
that  outsiders  have  been  called  upon  to  contribute  to  the  support 
of  the  people  of  Washington  county. 

On  the  same  day,  the  court  entered  an  order  appointing  Eobert 
Young,  constable,  from  Amos  Eaton's  to  Patterson's  Mill,  Castle- 
ton  Brooks,  from  Patterson's  Mill  to  lowest  settlements  down  the 
river.  These  appointments  were  made  to  keep  in  touch  with  the 
advancing  settlements. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  court  on  the  30th  day  of  April,  1777,  it 
was  ''ordered  that  the  court  be  held  as  soon  as  the  courthouse  can  be 
built,  at  the  place  formerly  laid  off  for  a  town,  upon  the  land  given 
to  the  county  by  the  honorable  Thomas  Walker,  Joseph  Black  and 
Samuel  Briggs.^'  / 

At  the  time  of  the  organization  of  the'^  county.  Dr.  Thomas 
Walker,  Joseph  Black  and  Samuel  Briggs  agreed  to  give  one  hun- 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  269 

dred  and  twenty  acres  of  land  in  the  coimty  of  Washington  agree- 
ably to  a  survey  thereof  made  by  Robert  Doach  for  the  purpose 
of  establishing  a  town  thereon,  and  for  raising  a  sum  of  money 
towards  defraying  the  expenses  of  building  a  courthouse  and  prison. 
This  offer  was  made  by  the  gentlemen  mentioned  to  the  County 
Court  as  an  inducement  to  have  them  establish  the  coimty  seat  near 
Black's  Fort  and  adjoining  their  other  lands. 

Tradition  says  that  the  co^urt  hesitated  for  sojn«  time  m  making 
a  selection  between  Wolf  Hills,  (now  Abiiigdon),  and  Shugarts- 
ville,   (now  Green  Spring). 

From  a  perusal  of  the  orders  of  the  County  Court,  it  appears 
that  a  number  of  logs  and  other  timber  had  been  gathered  at  Mr. 
Black's  for  the  purpose  of  building  a  magazine  when,  on  the  27th 
day  of  August,  1777,  the  County  Court  ordered  the  sheriff  to 
employ  some  person  or  persons,  upon  the  best  terms  he  could,  to 
remove  the  logs  and  other  timber  at  Mr.  Black's  for  the  purpose  of 
building  a  magazine,  to  some  convenient  place  where  the  town 
is  to  stand  and  there  to  be  built  for  a  courthouse." 

"And  likewise  to  build  a  prison  fourteen  feet  square,  with  square 
timber,  twelve  inches  each  way,  and  a  good  shingle  roof,"  with 
directions  to  line  the  side  wall  and  under  floor  with  two-inch  plank, 
and  put  nine  iron  spikes  in  each  plank,  six  inches  long  in  lieu  of  a 
stone  wall." 

Pursuant  to  this  order,  the  sheriff  of  the  county  let  the  contract 
for  the  building  of  the  county  courthouse  to  Samuel  Evans;  to 
Abraham  Goodpasture,  the  building  of  a  prison;  to  G.  Martin,  the 
contract  for  making  irons  for  criminals,  and  to  Hugh  Berry  the 
contract  for  making  the  nails  to  be  used  in  the  building  of  the 

The  courthouse  was  built  of  logs  and  stood  upon  the  lot  occupied 
by  the  present  residence  of  Mrs.  James  W.  Preston.  The  jail  oi 
prison  (a  fair  description  of  which  has  been  previously  given),  stood 
on  the  lower  end  of  the  present  courthouse  lot,  a  short  distance  from 
the  street  and  north  of  the  present  courthouse. 

On  the  30th  day  of  April,  1777,  the  County  Court  "ordered  that 
Arthur  Campbell,  William  Campbell,  Daniel  Smith,  Joseph  Mar- 
tin, William  Edmiston,  John  Coulter  and  Eobert  Craig,  gents, 
be  appointed  trustees  to  dispose  of  the  land  given  to  the  county 
by  the  Honorable  Thomas  Walker,   Samuel   Briggs^  and   Joseph 

270  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

Black,  and  formerly  laid  off  by  Captain  Robert  Doach,  and  that 
they  or  any  four  of  them  shall  sell  the  same  and  apply  the  money 
arising  therefrom  toward  defraying  the  expenses  of  the  publick 
buildings  in  tJiis  county." 

Pursuant  to  this  order  of  the  court,  the  trustees  therein  named 
employed  John  Coulter  to  lay  off  a  part  of  the  streets  and  alleys 
of  the  proposed  town,  which  service  he  performed  and  reported  to 
the  court  and  received  his  pay  therefor. 

The  time  when  the  new  courthouse  was  first  occupied  cannot 
be  definitely  fixed,  but  must  have  been  in  the  year  1778,  and  the 
new  prison  was  not  used  or  occupied  until  the  year  1779. 

On  the  same  day  the  court  directed  David  Campbell,  clerk,  to 
furnish  blank  books  for  keeping  the  public  records,  and  ordered  the 
sheriff  to  summons  twenty-four  of  the  most  capable  freeholders  to 
serve  as  a  grand  jury,  which  grand  jury  met  on  the  27th  day  of 
May,  1777,  at  Black's  Fort,  and  made  the  following  indictments — 
to- wit : 

Margaret  Drummon  for  having  a  bastard  child,  and  James 
Bryan  for  not  having  the  road  in  good  repair  he  was  surveyor  of. 
On  the  same  day  the  court  entered  the  following  order : 

"Ordered  that  it  be  certified  that  it  is  the  opinion  of  the  court, 
that  the  field  officers  for  Washington  county  be  recommended  to 
His  Excellency  the  Governor,  to  be  continued  and  be  in  the  office 
they  have  been  commissioned  to  by  his  Excellency,  which  appoint- 
ments are  approved  of  by  the  court  of  this  county. 

Major  Anthony  Bledsoe,  upon  his  election  as  a  member  of  the 
Legislature  of  Virginia,  resigned  his  position  as  major  of  the  forces 
stationed  at  Long  Island  and  left  for  Richmond,  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Captain  William  Russell. 

Major  Bledsoe  and  Captain  Cocke  expected,  upon  the  assembling 
of  the  legislature  at  Richmond,  to  have  the  pleasure  of  displacing 
the  militia  officers  of  Washington  county  and  filling  their  positions 
with  their  friends  and  partizans,  and  Colonel  Campbell,  as  a  means 
to  disappoint  Cocke  and  Bledsoe  in  the  accomplishment  of  their 
purpose,  had  the  preceding  order  entered  by  the  court  of  this 
county,  which  action  had  the  desired  effect,  and  as  a  result  of  it 
Cocke  and  Bledsoe  preferred  charges  against  Colonel  Campbell, 
which  charges  were  heard  and  dismissed  by  the  Governor  and  Coun- 
cil, in  the  same  year. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  371 

The  County  Court  during  this  year,  upon  motion  of  James 
Dysart,  sheriff  of  the  county,  permitted  Joseph  Black,  James  Eob- 
erts  and  John  King,  to  qualify  as  deputy  sheriffs  for  this  county, 
and  during  the  same  year,  permitted  Eobert  Campbell  and  John 
Campbell  to  qualify  as  deputy  clerks  for  said  county. 

During  the  early  part  of  the  year  1777,  the  court  ordered  the  fol- 
lowing roads  opened  and  established :  "A  road  from  James  Kin- 
cannon's  to  William  Kennedy's  Mill.  A  road  from  Samuel  Henry's 
up  the  South  Pork  of  Holston,  the  way  viewed  by  Eobert  Buchanan, 
Alexander  McISTutt  and  Eobert  Edmiston,  pursuant  to  the  order 
of  the  Fincastle  court." 

And,  "on  motion,  John  Anderson,  Gilbert  Christian,  James 
Elliott,  James  Fulkerson  and  William  Eoberts,  were  appointed  com- 
missioners to  view  a  road  from  George  Blackburn's  by  James  Ful- 
kerson's  to  the  forks  of  the  path  leading  to  Kentucky  and  the  mouth 
of  Eeedy  creek." 

In  the  fall  of  this  year,  the  following  orders  relating  to  the  roads 
of  the  county,  were  entered : 

"Benjamin  Gray  and  William  Blackburn  were  appointed  commis- 
sioners to  view  and  locate  a  road  from  the  courthouse  to  Shoate's 
Ford  on  Holston  river  on  the  27th  day  of  August,  1777,  and  the 
report  of  the  viewers  establishing  this  road  was  confirmed  by  the 
court  on  the  30th  day  of  September,  1777. 

Josiah  Gamble,  Thomas  Berry  and  Adam  Keer  were  appointed 
commissioners  to  locate  a  road  from  the  courthouse  to  Philip's  Mill, 
on  the  Watauga  road,  on  the  27th  of  August,  1777 ;  their  report  was 
confirmed  and  the  road  established  on  the  30th  day  of  September, 

William  Bowen,  David  Ward,  Eees  Bowen  and  James  Fowler 
were  appointed  commissioners  to  locate  a  road  from  the  Eichlands 
by  Maiden's  Spring  to  the  gap  of  the  Laurel  Fork  of  the  north 
branch  of  Holston  on  the  30th  day  of  September,  1777,  and  on 
the  same  day,  John  Finley,  John  Fowler  and  Abraham  Crabtree 
were  appointed  commissioners  to  locate  a  road  from  said  gap  down 
the  valley  to  the  head  of  Fifteen-Mile  creek  and  on  to  the  court- 

On  the  same  day,  Albert  McClure,  Thomas  McCulloch  and 
Joseph  Martin  were  appointed  commissioners  to  view  a  road  from 
the  foot  of  Clinch  mountain  where  James  Logan  lived  to  the  gap 

273  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

O'f  the  moimtain  opposite  the  head  of  Fifteen-Mile  creek.  Their 
report  was  received  and  confirmed  on  the  18th  day  of  March,  177S. 

John  Kinkead,  Daniel  Smith,  Thomas  Price  and  William  Gil- 
mer were  appointed  commissioners  to  locate  a  road  from  the 
north  side  of  Clinch  mountain,  over  Clinch  mountain,  to  Eobert 
and  James  Logan's  and  Halbert  McClure.  Thomas  McCulloch  and 
Joseph  Martin  were  appointed  commissioners  to  locate  a  road  from 
the  foot  of  Clinch  moimtain  at  James  Logan's  to  the  courthouse. 

William  Casey,  Eobert  Harrold  and  Samuel  Staples  were 
appointed  commissioners  on  the  36th  day  of  November,  1777,  to 
locate  a  road  from  the  mouth  of  Harrold's  creek  to  the  courthouse, 
and  on  the  same  day,  Francis  Cooper,  John  Dunkin  and  James 
Davis  were  appointed  commissioners  to  locate  a  road  from  the 
ISTorth  Fork  of  Holston  to  the  Castle's  Woods  road  through  Little 
Moccasin  Gap ;  this  last  road  was  established  by  order  of  the  court  on 
the  18th  day  of  March,  1778. 

We  give  this  information  in  regard  to  the  roads  established  in  the 
year  1777,  as  it  is  always  of  interest  to  the  citizens  to  laiow  the 
time  and  circumstances  attending  the  opening  of  our  public  roads. 

The  State  authorities  in  the  month  of  October,  1777,  made  a 
requisition  upon  the  authorities  of  Washington  county  for  thirty- 
three  men  for  the  continental  service,  which  requisition  was 
promptly  complied  with. 

During  the  summer  of  this  year,  all  the  western  settlements  were 
visited,  by  numbers  of  Tories  from  the  eastern  portion  of  the  State 
and  from  the  disaffected  portions  of  North  Carolina,  and  were 
greatly  troubled  by  their  presence  in  this,  that  they  usually  joined 
themselves  in  bands  and  traveled  about  through  the  settlements, 
stealing  horses  and  robbing  the  Whig  sympathizers ;  and  O'ftentimes, 
in  accomplishing  their  purposes,  committed  the  (>ffence_of  murder, 
and,  from  all  appearances,  in  the  fall  of  this  ^ear  it  looked  as  if  they 
would  be  able  to  give  the  settlers  a  great  deal  of  trouble,  unless  in 
some  manner  restrained. 

The  people  living  on  Holston  undertook  to  restrain  these  Tory 
sympathizers  by  a  resort  to  the  courts  and  by  inflicting  the  punish- 
ment prescribed  by  law,  and,  in  so  doing,  Isaac  Lebo,  Jeremiah 
Slaughter  and  William  Houston  were  indicted,  tried  and  convicted 
for  conduct  and  conversation  evidencing  a  disposition  inimical  to 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  273 

the  cause  of  America.    Their  goods  were  confis^ted_and  they  were 
fined  and  imprisoned. 

The  British  government  had  spies  scattered  throughout  the 
country,  carrying  messages  between  its  officials  ^nd  the  Indians 
living  to  the  south  and  west  of  the  Holston  settlements,  and  the 
situation  was  fast  becoming  exceedingly  precarious.  One  of  these 
spies  was  captured  and  punished  by  ColonerWilliam  Campbell  and 
some  of  his  friends,  in  this  yeiir,  when  Colonel  Campbell  was  return- 
ing to  his  liome  from  preaching,  in  company  with  his  wife  and  two 
or  three  gentlemen.  The  circumstances  were  as  follows:  "When 
Colonel  Campbell  had  gotten  within  a  few  miles  of  home,  he  dis- 
covered a  man  walking,  with  a  little  bundle  on  a  stick  thrown  over 
his  shoulder.  Wlien  the  man  got  within  some  hundred  and  fifty 
yards  of  Campbell,  he  turned  obliquely  off  from  the  road.  As  soon 
as  Campbell  discovered  this,  he  turned  from  the  road  in  a  direction 
to  intercept  him.  When  the  man  discovered  that  he  was  about  to 
be  intercepted  by  Campliell  and  his  companions,  he  broke  and  ran 
with  all  his  might  towards  the  river.  The  pursuers  galloped  after 
liim  and  as  there  was  no  ford  there  they  jumped  off  of  their 
horses  and  ran  across  the  river  and  overtook  their  game  in  an  ivy 
cleft.  Tliey  carried  him  back  to  the  road.  When  they  got  back 
several  other  men  fell  in  company  with  them.  The  spy,  as  I  will 
now  call  the,  was  dressed  very  shabbily.  Colonel  Campbell 
asked  him  why  he  turned  from  the  road.  The  spy  appeared  very 
silly  and  offered  some  flimsy  excuse.  Campbell  propounded  a  great 
many  other  questions  to  him.  The  fellow  pretended  to  have  very 
little  sense  and  said  that  he  was  a  very  poor  man  and  was  going 
tO'  the  back  settlements  where  there  was  plenty  of  land.  From 
the  many  questions  Campbell  proposed^  to  the  spy  he  became  per- 
fectly satisfied  that  he  was  a  man  of  fine  sense  and  under  the  dis- 
guise of  a  fool.  Campbell  informed  him  that  he  believed  him  to 
be  a  man  engaged  in  some  vile  service  and  he  must  be  searched, 
to  which  the  spy  had  no  objection.  His  bundle  was  searched,  in 
which  was  found  nothing  but  some  old  clothes.  Campbell  informed 
him  he  must  pull  off  all  the  clothes  he  had  on  and  put  on  the  suit 
he  had  in  his  bundle.  In  his  pocket  they  found  a  pass  and  some 
other  old  papers,  all  badly  written.  Every  part  of  his  clothing  was 
examined  very  minutely,  but  nothing  could  be  found.  Campbell 
remarked  to  the  spy  that  he  had  a  very  good  pair  of  shoes  on  and 

374  SouihwesL  Virginia,  17J^6-178G. 

he  believed  he  would  examine  them.  He  took  out  his  pocket  knife 
and  ripped  off  the  bottom  soles  of  the  shoes,  and  under  each  of  them 
he  found  a  letter  written  by  the  British  commander,  addressed  to 
V '  the  King  of  the  Cherokee  Indians.  The  letters  were  written  on 
very  fine  paper  and  were  enveloped  in  bladder  so  as  to  render  them 
water-proof.  The  Indians  were  informed  that  the  whites  had 
rebelled  against  their  king,  that  a  large  army  had  been  sent  against 
them,  which  would  in  a  short  time  subdue  them.  The  Indians 
were  exhorted  to  send  their  warriors  in  every  direction  and  harass 
the  whites  as  much  as  possible.  They  were  reminded  of  the  injuries 
they  had  received  from  the  whites  and  were  told  that  as  soon  as  the 
rebels  were  subdued,  they  would  be  amply  remunerated  for  all  the 
land  that  had  been  taken  from  them  and  for  whatever  other  losses 
they  had  sustained  from  them.  The  letter  wound  up  by  recom- 
mending the  bearer  to  the  king  as  a  man  of  sense  and  honesty  and 
as  one  in  whose  counsels  they  should  place  implicit  confidence.  After 
the  letters  were  read,  a  council  was  held  and  it  was  unanimously 
agreed  that  the  spy  should  be  hanged.  Colonel  Campbell  informed 
the  spy  that  he  had  but  a  short  time  to  live  and  he  had  as  well  make 
a  full  and  candid  confession  of  everything  connected  with  his  trip. 
The  spy  said  that  he  had  been  promised  by  the  British  commander 
a  large  sum  of  money  to  carry  these  letters  to  the  Indians  and  to 
incite  them  to  do  all  the  mischief  they  could  possibly  accomplish. 
Soon  after  this  confession  the  spy  was  taken  by  Campbell  and  his 
companions  and  swung  to  a  limb."* 

At  the  August  term  of  the  County  Court  of  1777,  th^  situation 
had  become  so  alarming  that  the  court  thought  proper  to  require  all 
the  citizens  of  the  county  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  Com- 
monwealth and  directed  tliat  George  Blackburn  tender  the  oath 
of  allegiance  to  all  free  male  inliabitants  living  in  the  bounds  of 
Captain  James  Shelby's,  Eobert  Craig's  and  Andrew  Colvill's  com- 

James  Montgomery  to  tender  the  oath  to  those  living  in  liis  own 
and  Captain  John  Shelby's  companies. 

Arthur  Campbell  to  tender  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  all  in  Cap- 
tain Edmiston's  and  Captain  Dysart's  companies. 

William  Campbell  to  tender  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  those  living 
in  Captain  Aaron  Lewis's  company. 

.      *Capt.  John  Redd's  MSS. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  275 

John  Snoddy,  to  those  in  his  own  and  Captain  Adam's  compan3^ 

John  Camphell,  to  those  in  his  own  and  Captain  John  Camp- 
bell's companies  at  Eoyal  Oak. 

John  Kinkead  in  his  own  and  Captain  Dunkin's  company. 

Daniel  Smith,  to  those  living  from  the  npper  part  of  Captain 
Dunkin's  company  to  the  county  line,  and  to  John  Coulter  was 
assigiied  the  duty  of  tendering  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  all  free  male 
inhabitants  in  the  bounds  of  Captain  Gilbert  Christian's  company 
and  Captain  James  Eobertson's  company  at  Watauga. 

The  members  of  the  County  Court  of  Washington  county  were 
zealous  Whigs  and  were  so  aggressive  in  the  enforcement  of  their 
views,  that  it  was  with  difficulty  that  a  Tory  could  make  his  home 
anywhere  within  the  bounds  of  this  county  without  being  prosecuted 
to  the  full  extent  of  the  law.  A  majority  of  these  men  did  not 
recognize  any  distinction  between  an  Indian  who  would  scalp  his 
wife  and  children  and  a  man  with  a  white  skin  who  would  lend 
his  influence  to  a  government  that  would  offer  every  inducement 
to  the  Indian  to  murder  and  plunder  the  wliite  settlers. 

Colonel  William  Campbell  was  particularly  aggressive  in  his  pro- 
secution of  the  Tories  tO'  be  found  within  the  county,  and,  by  reason 
thereof,  was  the  object  of  special  hatred  on  their  part. 

At  this  time  there  lived  in  Washington  county  two  men  by  the 
names  of  Frands  Hopkins  and  William  Hopkins.  Francis  Hop- 
kins was  a  counterfeiter  and,  at  the  May  term  of  the  County  Conrt 
in  the  year  1778,  he  was  tried  by  the  court  on  suspicion  of  his  hav- 
ing counterfeited,  erased  and  altered  sundry  treasury  notes ;  the 
currency  of  this  Commonwealth,  knowing  the  same  to  be  bad.  He 
was  foimd  guilty,  fined  fifty  dollars  lawful  money  of  Virginia,  sen- 
tenced to  six  months  in  prison,  and  was  ordered  to  be  confined 
within  the  walls  of  the  Fort  at  William  Cocke's  (now  C.  L.  Clyce's), 
on  Eenfro's  creek,  alias  Spring  creek,  until  the  county  gaol  was 
completed.  He  was  conveyed  to  Cocke's  Fort,  but,  within  a  short 
time  thereafter,  made  his  escape  and  began  a  series  of  very  bold 
and  daring  depredations  upon  the  Whig  settlers  of  the  county.  He 
organized  a  band  of  Tories,  whose  occupation  was  to  steal  the  horses 
of  the  settlers  and  intimidate  the  citizens  whenever  possible.  He 
went  so  far  as  to.  post  notices  at  and  near  the  home  of  Colonel  Wil- 
liam Campbell,  warning  him  that  if  he  did  not  desist  from  his  pro- 

276  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

secution  of  the  loyal  adherents  of  George  III,  a  terrible  calamity 
would  befall  him,  either  in  the  loss  of  his  property  or  his  life. 

"On  a  quiet  and  beautiful  Sabbath  in  the  spring  time  of  the 
year  1780,  General  Campbell  accompanied  by  Ms  wife  (who  was 
^  a  sister  of  Patrick  Henry),  and  several  of  their  neighbors,  attended 
a  religious  service  at  a  Presbyterian  house  of  worship  known  as 
Ebbing  Spring  Church  in  the  upper  end  of  this  county.  As  they 
were  returning  to  their  homes  they  happened  to  be  conversing  about 
the  audacity  of  the  Tory  who  had  been  so  bold  and  defiant  in  his 
declarations  and  was  suspected  of  having  posted  these  notices  above 
referred  to.  Just  as  they  arrived  at  the  top  of  a  hill,  a  short  dis- 
tance west  of  the  present  residence  of  Colonel  Hiram  A.  Greever, 
they  observed  a  man  on  horseback  on  the  opposite  hill,  coming 
towards  them.  General  Campbell  was  riding  beside  his  wife,  with 
an  infant  on  before  him.  One  of  them  remarked  that  the  individual 
meeting  them  was  the  Tory  of  whom  they  had  been  speaking,  prob- 
ably now  on  a  horse-stealing  expedition,  as  he  was  observed  to  be 
carrying  a  rope  halter  in  his  hand.  Hearing  this,  Colonel  Campbell, 
without  halting,  handed  the  infant  over  to  its  mother  and  dashed 
O'ut  in  front.  Seeing  the  movement  and  recognizing  the  man  whom 
he  so  much  feared  and  hated,  the  Tory  wheeled  his  horse  and  started 
back  at  quite  a  rapid  gait,  pursued  at  full  speed  by  Colonel  Camp- 
bell and  one  of  the  gentlemen  of  the  compan}'-,  whose  name  was 
Thompson.  Never,  it  may  be  presumed,  either  before  or  since,  has 
such  a  dashing  and  exciting  race  been  witnessed  upon  that  long 
level  between  the  residences  of  Colonels  Greever  and  Beattie.  As 
they  reached  the  branch  at  the  base  of  the  hill  a  little  west  of  Colonel 
Beattie's,  Colonel  Campbell  dashed  up  alongside  the  fleeing  Tory, 
who,  seeing  that  he  would  be  caught,  turned  short  to  the  right  down 
the  bank  and  plunged  into  the  river.  As  he  struck  the  water. 
Colonel  Campbell,  who  had  left  his  companion  in  the  rear,  leaped  in 
beside  him,  grasped  the  Tory's  holsters  and  threw  them  into  the 
stream,  and  then  dragged  him  from  his  horse  into  the  water. 

At  this  moment  Mr.  Thompson  rode  up.  They  took  their  prisoner 
out  on  the  bank  and  held  what  may  be  termed  a  drum-head  court. 
The  Tory,  who,  bad  as  he  was,  had  the  virtue  of  being  a  brave,  can- 
did man,  at  once  acknowledged  the  truth  of  the  charge  preferred 
against  him  and  boldly  declared  his  defiance  and  determination  to 
take  horses  wherever  he  could  find  them.  But  he  was  mistaken  in 
his  man,  for  in  less  tlian  ten  minutes  he  was  dangling  from  the 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  277 

limb  of  a  large  sycamore  that  stood  upon  the  bank  of  the  river,  the 
stump  of  which  was  to  be  seen  a  few  years  ago,  and  may  be  there 
yet  for  aught  the  writer  knows.* 

After  the  sudden  taking  off  of  Fran^i^  Hopkins,  as  above  detailed, 
William  Hopkins  continued  his  depredations  upon  the  Whig  settlers 
and  resorted  to  arms,  for  which  offence  he  also  was  arrested  in  the 
year  1779  and  committed  to  the  gaol  of  this  county  for  trial,  but 
escaped  therefrom,  whereupon,  the  court  entered  the  following  order 
on  the  16th  day  of  June,  1779  : 

"Washington  county  ss.  On  motion  of  Ephraim  Dunlop,  Deputy 
Attorney  for  the  Commonwealth,  that  the  estate  of  William  Hop- 
kins, who  had  been  taken  and  committed  to  the  gaol  of  this  county 
for  treasonable  practices  against  the  United  States  of  America,  in 
taking  up  arms  under  the  British  Standard  and  who  had  broken  the 
gaol  and  escaped,  be  sold  and  the  money  deposited  in  the  treasury,  it 
appearing  to  the  court  that  the  said  Hopkins  has  no  family,  and 
that  he  has  no  stated  place  of  abode, 

^'Ordered  that  the  sheriff  seize  and  sell  all  the  estate  of  the  said 
Hopkins  which  shall  be  found  in  his  bailiwick  and  that  he  keep 
the  money  accruing  from  such  sale  in  his  hands  until  the  General 
Assembly  shall  determine  how  the  said  money  is  to  be  expended." 

Ordered  that  the  clerk  of  the  court  transmit  this  order  to  the 
Speaker  of  the  House  of  Delegates  at  the  next  session  of  the 

The  good  citizens  of  the  county  organized  themselves  into  bands 
called  "Eegulators,"  and  patroled  the  county  and  meted  out  pun- 
ishment to  the  offenders  according  to  the  enormity  of  their  conduct. 
The  citizens,  following  the  example  of  their  leaders,  adopted,  in 
dealing  with  Tory  sympathizers,  measures  of  such  a  character  that 
this  county  was  comparatively  free  from  Tory  influences  during  the 
entire  war,  and  numbered  among  her  citizens  only  such  persons  as 
were  willing  and  ready  to  offer  their  lives  and  property  as  a  sacri- 
fice on  the  altar  of  their  country.  And  so  strong  and  healthy  was 
the  Whig  settlement  in  this  county,  in  the  5^ears  1778-1779,  that 
numbers  of  our  citizens  were  called  upon  to  assist  in  suppressing 
an  uprising  of  the  Tory  sympathizers  in  the  county  of  Montgomery. 

The  mode  of  procedure  adopted  by  our  Eevolutionary  fathers,  in 
dealing  with  tliis  matter,  may  not  meet  with  the  approval  of  some 

♦Charles  B.  Coale.^ 

278  Southwest  Virginia,  17J,6-1786. 

at  this  day,  but  it  is  evident  to  the  student  of  our  history,  that  the 
methods  used  were  the  most  effective  in  dealing  with  the  unprin- 
cipled men  who  had  chosen,  with  the  assistance  of  the  Indians,  tO' 
commit  all  manner  of  depredations  and  outrages  upon  the  frontier 

In  the  county  of  Montgomery,  persuasion  and  good  treatment 
were  used  on  this  character  of  citizens  and  resulted  in  what  might 
be  termed  an  insurrection,  a  deplorable  state  of  affairs  that  could 
not  be  remedied  without  the  assistance  of  the  patriots  of  Washing- 
ton county  and  the  application  of  their  methods  in  the  premises. 

In  Washington  county  stern  justice  was  meted  out  speedily  and 
effectively,  to  all  violators  of  the  law,  Avhich  policy  was  approved  by 
the  body  politic  and  had  the  desired  effect. 

In  the  month  of  July,  1777,  the  Government  of  Virginia  decided 
to  appoint  a  superintendent  or  Indian  Agent  for  the  Cherokee 
Indians,  which  position  was  conferred  upon  Captain  Joseph  Mar- 
tin, and  the  agency  was  located  at  the  Long  Island  in  Holston 
river.  Captain  Martin,  upon  his  appointment  as  Indian  Agent, 
proceeded  to  build  a  large  store  house  on  the  island,  for  the  purpose 
of  depositing  such  goods  as  the  government  might  send  out  for  the 
Indians  and  for  the  accommodation  of  the  Indians  when  at  Long 
Island  on  business  with  the  Indian  Agent. 

Daniel  Boone,  in  March,  1775,  undertook  to  mark  out  for  a  num- 
ber of  North  Carolina  gentlemen  a  road  from  Watauga,  Tennessee, 
through  the  wilderness  to  Kentucky,  which  he  did.  The  road 
marked  out  by  Boone,  at  this  time,  was  from  the  Watauga  settle- 
ment near  Elizabethton  (Tennessee),  to  the  Cumberland  Gap,  and, 
from  the  Gap,  it  followed  the  Indian  trace  known  as  "the  War- 
rior's Path,"  about  fifty  miles,  where  it  left  the  "Warrior's  Path," 
bearing  to  the  west  to  the  "Hazel  Patch"  and  to  Pock  Castle  river. 
From  Eock  Castle  river  the  road  passed  through  the  present  county 
of  Madison  (Kentucky)  and  on  to  the  Kentucky  river,  at  the  moutli 
of  Otter  creek.  About  one  mile  below  the  moutli  of  this  creek, 
Boone  established  headquarters  and  erected  a  fort,  and  called  it 
Boonesborough.  Boone  was  followed  by  a  large  company  in  charge 
of  Eichard  Henderson,  who  claimed  to  own  all  the  lands  between 
the  Ohio  and  the  Cumberland  rivers,  l)y  purchase  from  the  Chero- 
kee Indians,  to  which  country  he  had  given  the  name  of  Transyl- 
vania. Benjamin  Logan  with  a  company  of  men  from  the  Wolf  Hills, 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  279 

(now  Abingdon),  joined  Colonel  Henderson  in  Powell's  Valley,  and 
the  two  companies  traveled  together  as  far  as  Eockcastle  river  in 
Kentucky,  where  Logan,  not  approving  of  Colonel  Henderson's  pre- 
tensions or  plans,  left  Henderson  and  traveled  westwardly  in  the 
direction  of  the  Crab  Orchard,  and  when  he  had  reached  the  level 
land  he  halted  and  built  a  fort  which  he  called  "Logan's  Port." 

In  this  year,  a  large  number  of  emigrants  began  to  travel  into 
Kentucky,  seeking  homes,  and,  by  the  month  of  July,  a  considerable 
body  of  people  had  gathered  at  Boone's  Port  and  Logan's  Port. 

On  the  4th  day  of  July,  1777,  one  hundred  Indians  appeared 
before  Logan's  Port  and  laid  siege  to  it,  which  siege  continued 
until  the  month  of  September.  When  the  siege  had  lasted  foT 
some  time.  Captain  Benjamin  Logan,  with  a  number  of  friends, 
slipped  out  of  the  fort  by  night  and  began  an  exceedingly  hard  and 
dangerous  trip  to  the  settlements  on  Holston,  to  procure  supplies  for 
the  foTt  and  reinforcements  against  the  Indians.  They  traveled  by 
night  and  lay  by  during  the  day ;  but,  finally  reaching  the  Holston 
at  Wolf  Hills,  they  secured  powder  and  the  assistance  of  forty  rifle- 
men, and  returned  to  the  fort  within  ten  days. 

The  riflemen  from  the  Holston  settlenuents  were  under  the 
command  of  Colonel  John  Bowman.  Many  of  the  men  who  went 
to  the  rescue  of  their  relatives  and  fellow-citizens  in  Kentucky  at 
this  time  subsequently  made  their  homes  in  Kentucky,  and  Ben- 
jamin Logan  became  a  great  man  in  the  new  State. 

The  road  thus  marked  by  Daniel  Boone  and  Benjamin  Logan 
continued  to  be  the  passageway  of  many  hundreds  of  settlers  and 
emigrants  on  their  way  to  Kentucky  until  the  year  1781,  although 
it  was  nothing  more  than  a  mere  path  or  trace. 

By  the  3^ear  1779  great  numbers  of  people  were  emigrating  to 
and  settling  to  the  westward  of  the  Cumberland  mountains.  In 
this  year  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  passed  an  act  for  mark- 
ing and  opening  a  road  over  the  Cumberland  mountains  into  the 
county  of  Kentucky.  The  act  in  question  appointed  Evan  Shelby 
and  Eichard  Calloway  commissioners  to  explore  the  country  adja- 
cent to  and  on  both  sides  of  the  Cumberland  mountains,  and  to 
trace  and  mark  the  most  convenient  road  from  the  settlements  on 
the  east  side  of  the  mountains  over  the  same  into  the  open  coun- 
try into  the  county  of  Kentucky,  and  to  cause  such  road,  with  all 
convenient  dispatch  to  be  opened  and  cleared  in  such  manner  as 

380  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

to  give  par^sage  to  travelers  with  pack-horses  for  the  present;,  and  to 
report  to  the  next  session  of  the  Assembly  the  distance,  the  prac- 
ticability and  the  cost  of  completing  and  making  the  same  a  good 
wagon  road.  The  act  further  j^rovided  that  should  the  said  Evan 
Shelby  or  Eichard  Calloway  refuse  or  be  unable  to  act,  then  the 
County  Court  of  their  residence  should  appoint  his  or  their  succes- 
sor. It  provided  also  that  a  guard  of  not  more  than  fifty  men  from 
the  county  most  convenient  should  attend  said  commissioners  while 
locating  this  road. 

Colonel  Evan  Shelby  declined  to  act  as  commissioner,  pursuant 
to  the  act  of  the  Assembly  above  mentioned,  and  the  County  Court 
of  Washington  county,  in  which  he  lived,  on  June  20,  1780,  en- 
tered the  following  order : 

"Ordered  that  Captain  John  Kinkead  be  appointed  in  the  room 
of  Colonel  Evan  Shelby,  who  has  refused  to  act  agreeably  to  the 
Act  of  Assembly  for  marking  and  opening  a  road  over  the  Cum- 
berland mountains  into  the  county  of  Kentucke." 

This  appointment  Captain  Kinlcead  accepted,  and,  along  with 
Captain  Calloway,  effected  the  opening  of  a  road  through  the 
Cumberland  mountains  to  Kentucky,  and  on  the  first  day  of  De- 
cember, 1781,  a  petition  of  John  Kinkead  was  presented  to  the 
General  Assembly  of  Virginia  "setting  forth  that  agreeably  to  ap- 
pointment of  the  County  Court  of  Washington  he,  in  conjunction 
with  the  other  commissioner,  proceeded  to  and  effected  the  open- 
ing of  a  road  through  the  Cumberland  mountains  to  Kentucky, 
and  praying  to  be  paid  for  the  service." 

The  road  thus  located  by  Captains  Kinkead  and  Calloway,  be- 
came what  was  known  as  the  "Wilderness  Eoad,"  and  for  twenty 
years  subsequent  thereto  was  the  principal  highway  traveled  by 
an  immense  train  of  emigrants  to  the  West.  This  road  passed 
through  Abingdon,  and  that  the  present  generation  may  be  able 
to  locate  this  road,  I  give  the  stopping  points,  with  the  distances 
between,  along  the  road  from  Inglis'  Ferry  at  New  river  to  Cum- 
berland Gap : 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.    ^  281 

Miles.  Miles. 

*From  Hand's  Meadow  to               To  Moccasin  Gap 5 

Inglis'  Ferry  at  New  Eiver  12         To  Clinch  Eiver 11 

To  Fort  Chiswell 30          To  Ford  Stock  Creek 2 

To    Atkins'    Ordinary 19          To  Little  Flat  Lick 5 

To  Mid.  Fork  Holston. .  .  —         To  North  Fork  Clinch 1 

To    Cross    White's,    Mont-               To  Powell's  Mountain 1 

gomery 3          To   Wallen's   Eidge 5 

To  Col.  Arthur  Campbell's     3          To   Valley   Station 5 

To  7-mile  Ford  of  Holston     6          To  Powell's   Eiver 2 

To  Major  Dysart's  Mill..   12         To   Glade  Spring 4 

To  Washington  Courthouse  10          To  Martin's  Station 19 

To  Head  Eeedy  Creek,  Sul-               To    Big    Spring 12 

livan  county,  N.  C 20  To   Cumberland  Mountain 

To  Block  House 13              Gap    8 

To  North  Fork  of  Holston     2 

Thomas  Speed  traveled  this  same  route  in  the  year  1790,  and 
gives  the  names  of  the  stopping  points  with  the  distances  between : 


IngHs'    Ferry 20 

To    Carter's 13 

To  Fort  Chiswell 12 

To  the  Stone  Mill 11 

To   Adkins' 16 

To  Eussell   Place 16 

To    Greenway's 14 

To  Washington  Co.  House     6 
To  the  Block  House 35 


To    Farriss's 5 

To  Clinch  Eiver 12 

To  Scott's  Station 12 

To  Cox's  at  Powell's  Eiver  10 

To   Martin's   Station 2 


To   Cumberland  Mountain     3 
To  Cumberland  Eiver.  ...   15 

At  this  time  five  ferries  were  maintained  across  New  river  in 
Southwest  Virginia  by  land  owners,  toi-wit:  William  Inglis, 
Samuel  Pepper,  Cornelius  Brown,  Thomas  Herbert  and  Austin  & 
Co.,  for  the  accommodation  of  travelers  and  emigrants,  and  the 
General  Assembly  fixed  the  toll  at  four  cents  for  each  man  and 
four  cents  for  each  horse  ferried. 

Cliief-Justice  Eobertson,  of  Kentucky,  in  speaking  of  the  land 
law  enacted  for  Kentucky  by  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia 

*Win.  Brovra's  MSS. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  283 

in  the  year  1779,  and  of  the  emigration  which  took  place  in  that 
year,  used  the  following  language : 

"This  heneficent  enactment  hrought  to  the  country  during  the 
fall  and  winter  of  that  year  an  unexampled  tide  of  emigrants,  who, 
exchanging  all  the  comforts  of  their  native  society  and  homes  for 
settlements  for  themselves  and  children  liere,  came,  like  pilgrims, 
to  a  wilderness  to  be  made  secure  by  their  arms  and  habitable  by 
the  toil  of  their  lives.  Through  privations  incredible  and  ^perils 
thick,  thousands  of  men,  women  and  children  came  in  successive 
caravans,  forming  continuous  streams  of  human  beings,  horses, 
cattle  and  other  domestic  animals,  all  moving  onward  along  a 
lonely  and  houseless  path  to  a  wild  and  cheerless  land.  Cast  your 
eyes  back  on  that  long  procession  of  missionaries  in  the  cause  of 
civilization ;  behold  the  men  on  foot  with  their  trusty  guns  on  their 
shol^lde^s,  driving  stock  and  leading  pack-horses;  and  the  women, 
some  walking  with  pails  on  their  heads,  others  riding  with  chil- 
dren in  their  laps,  and  other  children  hung  in  baskets  on  horses, 
fastened  to  the  tails  of  others  going  before;  see  them  encamped 
at  night  expecting  to  be  massacred  by  Indians ;  behold  them  in 
tlie  month  of  December,  in  that  ever  memorable  season  of  unpre- 
cedented cold  called  the  "hard  winter,"  traveling  two  or  three 
miles  a  day,  frequently  in  danger  of  being  frozen  or  killed  by  the 
falling  of  horses  on  the  icy  and  almost  impassable  trace,  and  sub- 
sisting on  stinted  allowances  of  stale  bread  and  meat ;  but  now, 
lastly,  look  at  them  at  the  destined  fort,  perhaps  on  the  eve  of 
Merry  Christmas,  when  met  by  the  hearty  welcome  of  friends  who 
had  come  before,  and,  cheered  by  the  fresh  Iniffalo  meat  and 
parched  corn,  they  rejoice  at  their  deliverance  and  resolve  to  be 
contented  with  their  lot." 

It  was  by  this  route  and  in  this  manner  that  many  of  our  citi- 
zens traveled  to  their  new  homes  in  Kentucky  and  throughout  the 
West,  and  it  was  for  the  protection  of  travelers  on  this  route  that 
the  county  officials  of  Washington  county,  Virginia,  expended  a 
great  deal  of  effort  and  money,  the  Indians,  for  many  years  sub- 
sequent to  1775,  waylaying  this  route,  murdering  the  emigrants 
and  stealing  their  horses  and  plunder. 

The  ministers  of  the  Gospel,  being  Presbyterian  in  belief,  kept 
step  with  the  advance  of  the  settlers  upon  the  frontiers.  The  set- 
tlements had  scarcely  reached  the  vicinity  of  Jonesboro,  Tennes- 

284  Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786. 

see,  when  Rev.  Samuel  Doak,  a  Presbyterian  minister,  who  had 
been  educated  at  Princeton,  with  great  energy  and  with  a  deter- 
mination to  make  his  home  on  the  frontiers,  appeared  upon  the 
scene,  after  having  walked  through  Maryland  and  Virginia,  driv- 
ing before  him  a  horse  loaded  with  books.  He  was  greatly  appre- 
ciated by  the  people  among  whom  he  had  cast  his  lot,  and  he,  in 
turn,  exercised  a  "wonderful  influence  upon  tlie  early  settlers  of 
East  Tennessee. 

In  this  year,  1777,  through  the  influence  of  this  preacher,  a 
Presbyterian  log  church  was  erected  near  Jonesboro,  Tennessee, 
to  which  was  given  the  name  of  "Salem  Church."  Near  this 
church  soon  thereafter  he  erected  a  school-house  which  afterwards 
became  Washington  College,  this  church  and  school  being  the 
first  erected  in  the  State  of  Tennessee. 

On  the  26th  day  of  November,  1777,  the  county  court  of  this 
county  proceeded  to  make  a  statement  of  the  county  levy  for  the 
year  1777,  which  statement  was  as  follows: 

"To    Abraham    Goodpasture,    for   building   the 

prison,    £450 

To  Samuel  Evans,  for  building  a  house  to  hold 

court  in. 
To  John  Coulter  for  laying  off  the  lots  of  the 


To  Clerk  for  ex  officio  services, Tobacco,  1,000  lbs. 

To  Clerk,  for  public  services,   Tobacco,  1,300  lbs. 

To  a  blank  record  book  and  alphabet, £5 

To  carriage  for  do.  from  Williamsburg, 7s.  6d. 

To  Wm.  Young,  for  old  Wolf  Head, 

To  the  Sheriff,  for  ex  officio  services. 

To  Sheriff,  for  whole  of  his  public  services,.  .  .  .Tobacco,  12,000  lbs. 

To  building  of  pillory  and  stocks. 

By  890  tithables,  at  8s.,  £356 

To   Hugh   Berry,   for  making   1,760   nails   for 

cO'Urthouse  roof,    £5 

To  G.  Martin,  for  making  irons  for  criminals. 

From  an  inspection  of  this  county  levy,  it  will  be  seen  that  our 
first  county  government  was  very  frugal  and  economical.  Many 
readers  will  not  understand  how  it  was  that  a  part  of  the  county 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  285 

expenses  was  paid  in  tobacco.  The  explanation  is  that^  in  those 
early  days,  money  was  exceedingly  scarce,  and  the  House  of  Bur- 
gesses of  Virginia,  as  early  as  the  year  1772,  enacted  a  law  per- 
mitting the  inhabitants  of  this  section  of  Virginia  to  discharge 
all  secretaries',  clerks'  and  other  officers'  fees  in  tobacco  at  the  rate 
of  eight  shillings  and  four  pence  for  every  hundredweight  of  gross 
tobacco.    And  this  law  remained  in  force  for  a  decade  thereafter. 

The  Governor  of  Virginia,  on  the  23d  day  of  July,  1777,  issued 
a  new  commission  of  the  peace  and  dedimus  for  this  county, 
directed  to 


Arthur  Campbell,  Evan  Shelby, 

^    William  Campbell,  Daniel  Smith, 

\7illiam  Edmiston,  John  Campbell, 

Joseph  Martin,  Alexander  BuchaDan, 

James  Dysart,  Jolm  Kinkead, 

John  Anderson,  James  Montgomery, 

John  Coulter,  John  Snoddy, 

George  Blackburn,  Thomas  Mastin, 

Isaac  Shelby,  Robert  Craig, 

John  Dunkin,  John  Adair, 

Gilbert  Christian,  Thomas  Caldwell, 

and,  on  the  25th  day  of  November,  1777,  this  commission  was 
"produced  and  read,  and,  thereupon,  pursuant  to  the  said  dedimus, 
the  said  Arthur  Campbell  took  the  oath  of  a  justice  of  the  peace 
and  a  justice  of  the  County  Court  in  chancery,  all  of  which  oaths 
were  administered  to  him  by  John  Kinkead.  Thereupon,  the  said 
Arthur  Campbell  administered  the  same  oaths  to: 

John  Kinkead,  James  Montgomery, 

John  Coidter,  Robert  Craig, 

John  Dunkin, 

and  thus  was  constituted  the  second  County  Court  for  Washington 

In  the  fall  of  this  year.  General  George  Rogers  Clark  traveled 
from  Kentucky  over  the  "Wilderness  Road,"  on  his  way  to  Rich- 
mond, in  company  with  a  young  lawyer  by  the  name  of  John 
Gabriel  Jones,  and  reached  Mump's  Fort  in  Powell's  Valley  about 
ten  days  subsequent  to  the  killing,  by  the  Indians,  of  a  settler  by  the 

286  Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786. 

name  of  Parks.  In  traveling  through  tJiis  portion  of  Virginia, 
he  usually  stopped  at  the  nearest  house  when  dark  overtook  him, 
for  which  he  usually  paid,  at  the  small  cabins,  a  shilling  and  six- 
pence for  breakfast,  bed  and  feed  for  horse.  On  his  way  he  became 
acquainted  with  Captain  William  Campbell,  whom  he  found  a  very 
agreeable  companion. 

The  object  of  this  journey  to  Richmond  on  the  part  of  General 
Clark  was  to  secure  the  approval  of  the  Governor  of  a  plan  that  he 
then  conceived  to  be  feasible  and  that  would  be  of  gi-eat  value  to 
the  American  Colonies.  He  sought  the  consent  and  assistance  of 
the  Governor  in  equipping  and  carrying  on  an  expedition  against 
the  British  posts  at  Vincennes  and  Kaskaskia  in  the  Illinois  county ; 
and  there  can  be  but  little  doubt  that  he  discussed  this  question 
with  Captain  Campbell,  at  the  time  of  his  visit  to  Holston. 

He  succeeded  in  obtaining  the  consent  and  authority  of  the 
Governor  to  enlist  three  hundred  and  fifty  men  from  the  counties 
west  of  the  Alleghany  mountains,  to  be  used  upon  this  expedition, 
of  which  number  four  companies  were  to  be  raised  in  the  Holston 
and  Clinch  settlements,  and  Major  W.  B.  Smith  was  dispatched, 
in  the  year  1778,  to  recruit  men  for  that  service  in  this  section. 

There  seems  to  be  a  conflict  among  historians  as  to  the  number 
of  men  raised  in  this  section  by  Major  Smith  for  this  service,  one 
giving  the  number  as  amounting  to  four  companies;  another,  as^ 
one  company. 

The  men  recruited  for  this  service  were  not  informed  of  the  pur- 
pose for  wliich  they  were  intended,  until  they  had  reached  the  falls 
of  the  Ohio  (now  Louisville). 

The  company  of  recruits  from  the  Holston  settlements  did  not 
suppose,  when  they  entered  the  service,  that  they  were  to  be  taken 
upon  such  a  long  and  dangerous  expedition,  and  when  they  were 
informed  of  the  purpose  for  which  they  were  to  be  used,  they 
objected  to  proceeding  any  further  and  left  the  camp  of  General 
Clark  and  returned  to  their  homes.  This  is  the  one  disagreeable 
circumstance  connected  with  the  history  of  our  people.  These  men 
were  recruited  from  a  country  where  the  people  were  brave  and 
adventurous,  and  it  is  hard  to  account  for  their  conduct  upon  this 
occasion.  We  are  sorry  to  state  that,  by  their  conduct,  they  deprived 
this  portion  of  Virginia  of  the  honor  of  sharing  in  the  wonderful 
expedition  and  conquests  of  General  Clark. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  387 

While  the  company,  as  a  whole,  refused  to  go  upon  this  expedi- 
tion, a  few  of  the  men  joined  other  companies  and  took  part  in  the 
expedition;  and  their  names,  so  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  gather 
them,  are  as  follows : 

Low  Brown,  John  Lasly, 

Solomon  Stratton,  Xealy  McGuire, 

William  Peery. 

Supplies  for  this  expedition  were  purchased  upon  the  Holston, 
as  is  evidenced  by  an  order  of  the  court  entered  on  the  17th  day  of 
Maj'ch,  1779,  which  order  is  as  follows: 

■'Whereas  twenty-six  forty  dollar  bills  were  found  in  the  pos- 
session of  Captain  Thomas  Quirk,  and,  on  the  examination  of  the 
court  of  Washington  county,  were  supposed  to  be  counterfeit,  the 
said  Captain  Quirk  delivered  the  said  bills  to  the  sheriff  in  the 
presence  of  the  court,  and  it  appears  by  the  oath  of  the  said 
Thomas  Quirk  and  Andrew  Colvill  that  the  said  Thomas  Quirk 
receiver]  these  bills  of  James  Buchanan,  commissary  for  the  Illi- 
nois service,  tO'  purchase  bacon.  Whereupon',  it  is  ordered  that  the 
sheriff  take  or  send  the  said  bills  to  the  Board  of  Auditors  for 
further  proceedings,  according  to  law.  A  list  of  the  bills  is  given, 
which  bills  are  signed  by  D.  Summers  and  G.  Brown  and  dated 
April   11,   1778." 

At  the  election  held  for  Washington  county  in  the  spring  of 
the  3'ear  1778,  Arthur  Campbell  and  Anthony  Bledsoe  were 
elected  members  of  the  House  of  Delegates,  and  William  Fleming, 
of  Botetourt,  a  member  of  the  Senate,  in  the  General  Assembly 
of  Virginia. 

In  the  spring  of  this  year.  Captain  James  Dysart  and  Lieutenant 
Samuel  Newell  were  placed  in  command  of  two  companies  of  mili- 
tia to  range,  during  the  summer,  along  the  frontiers  in  Powell's 
and  Clinch  A^alleys,  as  a  protection  against  the  Indians.  Early  in 
the  month  of  May,  before  the  departure  of  these  ranging  parties, 
a  man  by  the  name  of  Whitesides,  a  large,  active  man,  left  his 
home  near  Elk  Garden  Fort  for  Glade  Hollow  Fort,  where  he  had 
a  horse  running  on  the  range.  While  hunting  for  his  horse  about 
two  miles  from  Glade  Hollow  Fort,  he  was  captured  by  nine 
Indians,  who  pinioned  his  arms  back,  loaded  him  with  their  extra 
phmder  and  some  meat  cut  from  the  carcass  of  a  dead  horse,  and 

288  Southwest  Virginia,  nJ^6-1786. 

in  this  marmer  skulked  about  for  several  days,  watching  for  an 
opportunity  to  attack  Glade  Hollow  Fort,  which  was  in  a  wretched 
state  of  defence,  seven  men  only  being  in  the  fort.* 

These  men  were  engaged  daily  in  bringing  salt-petre  dust  from 
a  cave  at  some  distance  from  the  fort,  to  make  salt-petre,  upon  the 
discovery  of  which,  the  Indians  resolved  to  take  the  fort  the  next 
time  the  men  went  out. 

They  tied  Whitesides'  feet  and  left  an  Indian  to  guard  him, 
while  the  others  sought  a  more  convenient  place  to  attack  the  fort 
when  occasion  offered. 

In  the  meantime  the  Indian  who  had  charge  of  Whitesides, 
thinking  they  were  too  much  exposed  to  view,  untied  his  feet  and 
made  him  creep  further  into  the  brush  and,  laying  down  his  gun, 
sat  down  before  Whitesides  to  tie  his  feet  again.  At  that  moment, 
Whitesides  seized  the  gun,  and,  although  his  arms  were  pinioned, 
gave  the  Indian  such  a  blow  over  the  head  as  broke  the  gun  to 
pieces  and  felled  the  Indian  to  the  ground  and,  perhaps,  killed  him. 
Whitesides  then  sprang  to  his  feet  and  gave  the  alarm  to  the  men 
near  the  fort,  who  ran  back  to  the  fort  with  all  speed,  but 
Whitesides  ran  past  the  fort  towards  the  Elk  Garden  fort, 
carrying  all  the  Indian's  plunder  on  his  back.  The  eight 
Indians  who  were  waylaying  the  fort,  hearing  the  alarm, 
ran  back,  and  finding  their  companion,  perhaps  lifeless,  pur- 
sued Whitesides;  and  while  doing  so,  met  about  forty  men  in 
plain  view  of  the  fort,  on  their  way  to  act  as  rangers;  on 
whom  the  Indians  fired  and  killed  two.  The  rest  fled  ingloriously, 
each  one  in  his  way,  spreading  the  alarm  that  the  fort  was  taken. 
Upon  receipt  of  this  news  at  Black's  Fort,  Captain  Samuel  Newell, 
with  eighteen  men  set  off  for  Glade  Hollow  Fort.  They  ran 
about  twelve  miles  that  evening  and  waded  the  North  Fork  of 
Holston  just  before  night,  but  were  forced  to  stop  when  night  set 
in,  as  they  had  no  trace  they  could  follow  in  the  night,  and,  in 
many  places  the  weeds  and  grass  were  waist  high.  They  arrived  in 
view  of  the  fort  next  morning  between  eight  and  nine  o'clock,  and 
upon  reconnoitering,  found  the  fort  had  not  been  taken.  When  the 
occupants  of  the  fort  saw  them,  they  ran  out  to  meet  them.  The 
next  day,  Captain  James  Dysart,  with  eighteen  men,  arrived  at  the 

*Beiijainin  Sharp  Letter,  American  Pioneer. 

Workington  County,  1777-1870.  389 

During  the  same  year,  in  the  lower  end  of  this  county,  a  young 
man  by  the  name  of  Fulkerson  was  killed  when  driving  up  his  horses 
from  the  range,  and  Thomas  Sharp  was  fired  at  and  badly  wounded, 
but,  being  on  horseback,  he  made  his  escape  and  recovered  from 
his  wounds.  Jacob  Fulkerson  and  a  young  man  by  the  name  of 
Callahan  were  both  killed  this  year,  while  hunting  their  cattle  in 
the  range. 

On  the  23d  day  of  April,  1778,  the  court  entered  the  following 
order : 

"Ordered  that  Colonel  William  Campbell  be  appointed  to  dis- 
tribute the  county  salt  to  the  most  necessitous  of  the  frontier 
inhabitants  of  Clinch  and  the  lower  settlements  of  Washington 
county  below  the  mouth  of  the  ISTorth  Fork,  such  a  quantity 
reserving  as  he  shall  judge  sufScient  for  the  militia  on  duty,  also 
selling  at  such  rate  as  will  be  suflficient  to  discharge  the  first  cost 
and  expenses." 

"Ordered  that  Isaac  Lebo  be  permitted  to  go  towards  the  Mora- 
vian Town  for  salt,  and  that  he  return  within  the  term  of  three 

Isaac  Lebo  is  one  of  the  same  men  that  had,  previously  to  tliis 
time,  been  arrested,  tried  and  convicted  of  treasonable  practices 
against  the  Commonwealth,  and  this,  no  doubt,  was  an  excuse 
offered  by  him  for  an  opportunity  to  communicate  with  his  Tory 
friends  in  the  South. 

On  the  21st  day  of  May,  1778,  Samuel  Newell  qualified  as  Deputy 
Sheriff  for  the  county  and  gave  and  filed  a  bond  for  the  due  col- 
lection and  accounting  for  the  taxes  of  the  county  of  Washington, 
and  entered  upon  his  duties  as  first  tax  collector  for  the  county, 
under  the  law  of  Virginia.  It  was  the  duty  of  the  County  Court 
to  recommend  to  the  Governor  the  names  of  the  three  magistrates 
named  first  in  the  Commission  of  Peace,  from  which  list  the  Gov- 
ernor commissioned  a  sheriff  for  the  county,  and  on  the  20th  day 
of  April,  1778,  the  court  recommended  Arthur  Campbell,  William 
Campbell  and  Daniel  Smith  as  fit  and  proper  persons  to  execute 
the  office  of  sheriff  for  the  county  of  Washington.  From  this  list 
the  Governor  commissioned  Arthur  Campbell  as  sheriff  of  the 
county,  and  he  qualified  as  such  on  the  16th  day  of  February,  1779, 
with  Evan  Shelby,  Andrew  Willoughby  and  Andrew  Kincannon 
as  his  securities.    During  this  and  the  succeeding  year,  the  follow- 

290  Southivest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

ing  gentlemen  qualified  as  deputy  sheriffs  of  the  count}';  Samuel 
Newell,  Christopher  Acklin  and  Alexander  Donaldson. 

At  the  March  court  1779,  Harry  Innes  and  Eowland  Madison 
qualified  to  practice  law  in  the  courts  of  the  county.  Harry  Innes 
afterwards  moved  to  the  county  of  Kentucky,  where  he  became 
distinguished  in  the  annals  of  that  State.  At  the  same  term  of 
the  court,  Daniel  Smith,  Robert  Craig  and  John  Campbell  were 
appointed  commissioners  of  the  tax,  the  land  owners  having  failed 
to  attend  and  elect  commissioners.  At  this  term  of  the  court,  David 
Campbell  resigned  his  position  as  Clerk  of  the  Court,  and  John 
Campbell  was  appointed  to  succeed  him,  which  position  he  occupied 
until  the  year  1824,  during  which  time  he  faithfully  discharged 
his  duties  and  retained  the  respect  and  confidence  of  the  people  of 
this  county.  David  Campbell,  who  resigned  his  position  as  Clerk 
of  the  Court  on  the  15th  day  of  August,  1780,  obtained  a  commis- 
sion from  His  Excellency,  Thomas  Jefferson,  appointing  him  attor- 
ney-at-law,  and  qualified  as  such  in  the  court  of  this  county,  but, 
soon  thereafter,  he  removed  to  Campbell's  Station,  Tennessee,  in 
Avhich  State  he  won  distinction  in  his  profession  and  became  the 
first  Chief  Justice  of  that  State. 

From  the  orders  of  the  court  at  this  term,  it  appears  that  Samuel 
Evans  had  not  completed  the  courthouse,  pursuant  to  contract,  and 
Joseph  Black  was  directed  to  agree  with  Evans  as  to  the  amount 
he  should  receive  for  the  work  that  he  had  done  upon  the  court- 
house; and  the  sheriff  was  directed  to  agree  with  some  person  to 
finish  the  courthouse. 

At  the  April  term  ol  this  court,  a  statement  of  the  county  levy 
was  made  for  the  year  1779,  which  is  as  follows: 

"Ephraim  Dunlop,  for  services  as  State's  Attorney  for  the 

year  1777  and  for  the  year  1778, £200.00 

Abraham  Goodpasture,  for  building  prison, 500.00 

Samuel   Evans,   for  building  courthouse, 100.00 

Abraham  Goodpasture,  finishing  courthouse,   100.00 

Arthur  Campbell,  for  three  blank  books  for  the  Clerk,.  .  15.00 

To  do.  for  the  body  of  the  law  for  use  of  the  Court, 5.  ' 

To  do.  for  cash  paid  Hugh  Berry,  nails  courthouse, 5. 

To  do.  for  60  lbs.  iron  furnished  for  nails  courthouse,  ....  5. 

To  window  glass  for  courthouse,  12  lights  @  9s., .  5.8 

To  do.  for  ex  officio  services  for  1777-1778, 15.0 

Washington  County,  1777-1870. 


Allowed  for  pillory  and  stocks, 75.0 

By  1464  tithables  @  15s.  per  titliable, 1,098.9 

At  this  same  court  the  following  order  was  entered : 
"Ordered  that  the  main  road  be  cut  according  to  report  of 
Joseph  Black,  Andrew  Colvill  and  James  Piper,  viewers  from 
the  courthouse  to  the  Twenty-llile  creek,  and  that  Andrew  Colvill 
be  surveyor  from  the  courthouse  to  the  west  side  of  Spring  creek, 
and  that  the  tithables  formerly  ordered  work  upon  the  same." 

The  Pillory — Used  in  this  Section  in  the  Earl_y  Days. 

The  road  was  opened  pursuant  to  this  order,  the  location  of 
which  was  about  the  same  as  tliat  of  the  present  road  from  Abing- 
don to  Papersville,  Tennessee. 

At  the  May  term  of  court,  1779,  tlu^  Attorney  for  the  Common- 
wealth filed  an  information  against  John  Yancy,  a  citizen  and  hotel 
keeper,  living  ia  the  town  of  Abingdon,  charging  him  with  the 
offence  of  enclosing  his  sheep  in  the  courthouse,  upon  which  inform- 
ation divers  witnesses  were  sworn  and  examined,  and  the  defendant 
heard  in  his  defence,  whereu})on,  the  court  fined  the  defendant 
twenty  shillings  and  the  costs. 

At  the  same  court,  the  prison  erected  by  Abraham  Goodpasture 
was,  by  order  of  the  court,  used,  but  not  received.  On  the  same 
day  the  court  entered  the  following  order : 

"Ordered  that  David  Carson  and  Joseph.  Black  lay  off  the  prison 

293  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

bounds,  exceeding  five  acres  and  not  more  than  ten,  and  take  in  the 
water,  and  David  Carson  was  paid  six  pounds  for  his  services." 

On  the  19th  day  of  August  the  court  entered  the  following  order : 

"Ordered  that  Arthur  Campbell,  Anthony  Bledsoe,  Daniel  Smith, 
Joseph  Black  and  John  Blackamore  be  appointed  examiners  of  the 
bills  of  credit  of  this  State  and  the  other  United  States,  agreeably 
to  the  act  of  the  Assembly  entitled  "An  Act  for  more  effectually 
guarding  against  counterfeiting  of  the  Bills  of  Credit,  Treasury 
Notes  and  Loan  OflSce  certificates." 

In  the  early  summer  of  this  year,  the  Tories  living  near  the  head 
of  the  Yadkin  river,  North  Carolina,  and  on  New  river  and  Walk- 
er's creek  in  Montgomery  county,  Virginia,  began  to  form  into  a 
body,  with  the  intention  of  destroying  the  Lead  Mines  on  New 
river,  robbing  the  well  affected  citizens  of  that  county,  and  then 
forcing  their  way  to  the  headquarters  of  Lord  Cornwallis,  who  was 
at  that  time  in  the  Carolinas.  There  was  every  prospect  that  an 
insurrection  would  take  place,  and,  notwithstanding  the  untiring 
efforts  of  Colonel  William  Preston,  the  county-lieutenant  of  that 
county,  he  was  unable  to  quiet  the  disaffected,  or  to  protect  the  well- 
disposed  citizens.  As  a  last  resort  Colonel  Preston  called  upon  the 
officials  of  Washington  county  for  assistance,  when  Captain  William 
Campbell,  with  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  militia  from  this 
county,  all  well  mounted,  turned  out  and  proceeded  to  suppress  this, 
a  new  kind  of  enemy  to  the  people  of  Washington  county.  The 
name  of  Captain  Campbell  was  such  as  to  strike  consternation  into 
the  ranlc  of  the  Tories,  who  dispersed  upon  his  approach  and 
offered  no  open  resistance.  The  militia  from  this  county  were  then 
dispatched  in  small  detachments  and  had  active  business  for  several 
weeks  pursuing,  taking  and  imprisoning  Tories.  The  militia  sub- 
sisted themselves  and  their  horses  upon  the  grain  and  stock  of  the 
Tories,  and  compelled  all  Tory  sympathizers  who  were  old  and  unfit 
for  service  to  give  security  for  their  good  behavior,  or  to  go  to 
jail.  The  young,  effective  men  were  pardoned  on  condition  of  their 
serving  as  faithful  soldiers  in  the  armies  of  the  United  States 
during  the  war,  as  an  atonement  for  their  crime.  Colonel  Camp- 
bell and  his  men  saw  hard  and  active  duty  during  this  time,  but 
lost  no  lives  nor  had  any  of  their  men  wounded. 

Captain  Campbell  and  his  militia  from  this  county  were  ably 
seconded  in  their  efforts  to  suppress  the  Tory  sentiment  then  exist- 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  393 

ing  in  Montgomery,  by  Colonel  Walter  Crockett,  Captain  Charles 
Lynch,  Captain  Robert  Sayers  and  Captain  Isaac  Campbell.  Cap- 
tains Sayers  and  Campbell  each  commanded  a  company  of  men 
numbering  twenty-eight  and  thirty-five  respectively,  at  this  time, 
and  were  not  satisfied  with  a  suppression  of  the  Tories  in  Mont- 
gomery county,  but  thereafter  proceeded  to  perform  the  same 
service  in  parts  of  Surrey  and  Wilkes  counties.  North  Carolina. 

Captain  Campbell  and  his  men,  in  dealing  with  the  Tories  of 
Montgomery  county,  applied  the  same  methods  used  so  effectively 
in  Washington  county,  of  which  we  give  one  instance,  that  the 
reader  may  understand  the  methods  used. 

"There  is  a  beautiful  little  valley  known  by  the  name  of  "Black 
Lick,"  nestling  among  the  mountains  of  Wythe  county,  which, 
being  remote  from  highways  and  environed  by  uninhabited  forests, 
afforded  shelter  for  a  number  of  Tories,  who  made  frequent  forays 
upon  the  neighboring  settlements  and  then  concealed  themselves  in 
this  remote  and  quiet  retreat.  Their  hiding  place  becoming  dis- 
covered, General  Campbell's  men  surrounded  it,  captured  about  a 
dozen  and  hung  them  upon  two  white  oaks  which;  spared  by  the 
woodman's  ax  for  the  righteous  oflfice  they  had  performed,  were 
still  standing  a  few  years  ago,  and  were  long  loiown  by  the  name 
of  the  "Tory  Trees."* 

At  the  time  in  question.  Captain  Charles  Lynch,  of  Bedford 
county,  was  manager  for  the  Commonwealth  at  the  Lead  Mines  on 
New  river,  and,  as  a  result  of  the  visit  of  Captain  Campbell  to 
Montgomery  county  in  this  year,  he  thereafter  adopted  Campbell's 
method  of  dealing  with  Tories  and  wrong-doers;  and,  ever  after, 
during  the  war,  when  any  of  the  inhabitants  were  suspected  of 
wrong  doing  or  treasonable  conduct,  they  were  dealt  with  accord- 
ing to  what  was  termed  "Captain  Lynch's  Law,"  and  from  this  man 
and  this  occasion  originated  the  term  "Lynch  Law,"  as  it  is  prac- 
tised throughout  the  nation,  under  peculiar  circumstances,  at  this 

Upon  the  return  of  Captain  Campbell  and  his  men  from  Mont- 
gomery county,  considerable  complaint  was  made  by  the  Tory  inhab- 
itants of  that  section  of  Virginia,  and  efforts  were  made  to  prose- 
cute Cam.pbell  and  his  associates,  but  the  Legislature  of  Virginia, 
recognizing  the  valuable  services  of  these  patriots,  in  October  of 

*Chas.  B.  Coale. 

294  Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786. 

that  year  passed  an  Act  exempting  them  from  all  pains  and  pen- 
alties by  reason  of  their  acts,  which  Act  of  the  Assembly  is  as 
follows : 

"Whereas  divers  evil-disposed  persons  on  the  frontiers  of  this 
Commonwealth  had  broken  out  into  an  open  insurrection  and  con- 
spiracy and  actually  levied  war  against  the  Commonwealth,  and  it  is 
represented  to  the  present  General  Assembly  that  William  Camp- 
bell, Walter  Crockett  and  other  liege  subjects  of  the  Common- 
wealth, aided  by  detachments  of  the  militia  and  volunteers  from  the 
county  of  Washington  and  other  parties  of  the  frontiers  did  by  their 
timely  -and  effectual  exertion  suppress  and  defeat  such  conspiracy ; 
and  whereas  the  necessary  measures  taken  for  that  purpose  may  not 
be  strictly  warranted  by  law,  although  justifiable  from  the  imme- 
diate urgency  and  imminences  of  the  danger;  be  it  therefore 
declared  and  enacted,  That  the  said  William  Campbell,  Walter 
Crockett  and  all  other  persons  whatsoever  concerned  in  suppressing 
the  said  conspiracy  and  insurrection,  or  in  advising,  issuing  or 
executing  any  orders  or  measures  taken  for  that  purpose  stand 
indemnified  and  clearly  exonerated  of  and  from  all  pains,  penalties, 
prosecutions,  actions,  suits  and  damages  on  account  thereof;  and 
that  if  any  indictment,  prosecution,  action  or  suit  shall  be  laid  or 
brought  against  them,  or  any  of  them,  for  any  act  or  thing 
done  therein,  the  defendant  or  defendants  may  plead  in  bar,  or  the 
general  issue,  and  give  this  act  in  evidence."* 

In  the  summer  of  this  year,  at  the  instigation  of  British  agents. 
Dragging  Canoe  and  his  band  of  Indians,  living  at  Chickamauga, 
were  induced  to  undertake  a  campaign  against  the  Virginia  and 
Carolina  frontiers.  While  making  preparations  for  the  campaign, 
James  Eobertson,  ^\\\o  was  then  at  Chote,  received  information  of 
their  intended  invasion  and  immediately  informed  the  leaders  on 
the  Ilolston.  Upon  the  receipt  of  this  information  it  was  decided 
that  the  militia  of  the  twO'  governments  should  unite,  and  carry 
on  an  active  expedition  against  tlicse  Indians.  Colonel  Evan 
Shelby,  of  Sapling  Grove  (now  Bristol),  was  selected  to  command 
the  expedition.  The  forces  from  the  two  States  assembled  at  the 
mouth  of  Big  Creek  on  the  Clinch  river  (near  Rogersville,  Ten- 
nessee), on  April  10,  1779,  Captain  Isaac  Shelby  being  in  command 
of  the  forces  from  Washington  county,  Virginia.    At  this  point  the 

*10  Hening  Statutes,  page  195. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  295 

entire  army,  consisting  of  several  liundred  men,  volunteers  from  the 
settlements,  and  a  regiment  of  twelve-months'  men,  under  the  com- 
mand of  Captain  John  Montgomery,  intended  as  a  reinforcement 
to  General  Clark  in  tlie  Illinois,  temporarily  diverted  from  that 
object  for  use  in  this  campaign,  embarked  in  canoes  and  boats,  and 
descended  the  Tennessee  river  to  the  home  of  the  Chickamoggas. 
The  Indians  were  completely  taken  by  surprise  and  fled  in  all 
directions  to  the  hills  and  mountains,  not  offering  any  resistance. 
Forty  Indians,  at  least,  were  killed,  and  their  towns  were  destroyed, 
their  horses  and  cattle  driven  away,  and  their  corn  and  provisions, 
as  well  as  twenty  thousand  pounds  in  value  of  stores  and  goods, 
carried  off.  Thereupon,  the  troops  destroyed  their  boats  and  canoes 
and  returned  to  their  homes  on  foot.  Thus  it  was  that  one  of  the 
cherished  hopes  of  the  British  ministry  was  foiled  and  the  prospects 
of  the  Colonies  exceedingly  enhanced. 

Colonel  Shelby,  while  making  preparations  to  conduct  this  expe- 
dition against  the  Indians  at  Chickamogga,  dispatched  Jolui  Do'Ug- 
lass  to  the  settlements  on  Clinch  river,  pursuant  to  the  orders  of 
Colonel  Russell,  but  Douglas  was  waylaid  and  killed  by  the  Indians 
and  his  horse  ridden  off. 

When  the  expedition  against  the  Chickamogga  Indians  was 
decided  upon,  Colonel  Evan  Shelby  dispatched  John  Hutson  to  the 
Indian  town  with  letters  to  Colonel  Joseph  Martin,  advising  him 
to  remove  from  the  Indian  country  to  the  Great  Island,  agreeably 
to  the  Governor's  instructions,  but,  unfortimately,  Hutson  was 
drowned  in  the  execution  of  that  business,  and  his  widow,  Eleanor 
Hutson  was  allowed  by  the  General  Assembly  at  its  fall  session  in 
the  year  1779,  the  sum  of  twenty-four  pounds  for  the  present  relief 
of  herself  and  cliildren,  and  twelve  pounds  per  annum  during  her 

"In  the  summer  of  1779,  the  Indians  visited  the  home  of  Jesse 
Evans,  who  lived  near  the  head  waters  of  the  Clinch  river,  and 
destroyed  his  family.  On  the  morning  of  the  day  in  question,  Jesse 
Evans  left  his  honse,  with  five  or  six  hired  men,  for  the  purpose  of 
executing  some  work  at  a  distance  from  home.  As  they  carried  with 
them  various  farming  implements,  their  guns  were  left  at  the 
house,  where  Mrs.  Evans  was  engaged  in  weaving  a  piece  of  cloth. 
Her  oldest  daughter  was  filling  quills  for  her  wliile  the  four  remain- 

296  Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786. 

ing  children  were  either  at  play  in  the  garden  or  gathering  vege- 

The  garden  was  about  sixty  yards  from,  the  house,  and,  as  no  saw- 
mills were  in  existence  at  that  day  in  this  country,  slab-boards  were 
put  up  in  a  manner  called  "wattling"  for  palings.  These  were  some 
six  feet  long  and  made  what  is  called  a  close  fence.  Eight  or  ten 
Indians,  who  lay  concealed  in  a  thicket  near  the  garden,  silently  left 
their  hiding  places  and  made  their  way,  unobserved,  to  the  back  of 
the  garden.  There,  removing  a  few  boards,  they  bounded  through 
and  commenced  the  horrid  work  of  killing  and  scalping  the  chil- 
dren. The  first  warning  Mrs.  Evans  had  was  their  screams  and 
cries.  She  ran  to  the  door  and  beheld  the  sickening  scene,  with 
such  feelings  as  only  a  mother  can  experience. 

Mrs.  Evans  was  a  stout,  athletic  woman,  and,  being  inured  to  the 
hardships  of  the  times,  with  her  to  will  was  to  do.  She  saw  plainly 
that  on  her  exertions  alone  could  one  spark  of  hope  be  entertained 
for  the  life  of  her  "first  born."  An  unnatural  strength  seemed  to 
nerve  her  arm  and  she  resolved  to  defend  her  surviving  child  to 
the  last  extremity.  Eushing  into  the  house  she  closed  the  door, 
which  being  too  small,  left  a  crevice,  through  which  in  a  few 
moments  an  Indian  extended  his  gun,  aiming  to  pry  open  the  door 
and  finish  the  bloody  work  which  had  been  so  fearfully  begun.  Mrs. 
Evans  had  thrown  herself  against  the  door  to  prevent  the  entrance 
of  the  savages,  but  no  sooner  did  she  see  the  gun  barrel  than  she 
seized  it  and  drew  it  in  so  far  as  to  make  it  an  available  lever  in 
prying  to  the  door.  The  Indians  threw  themselves  against  the  door 
to  force  it  open,  but  their  efi'orts  were  unavailing.  The  heroic 
woman  stood  to  her  post,  well  knowing  that  her  life  depended  upon 
her  own  exertions.  The  Indians  now  endeavored  to  wrest  the  gun 
from  her;  in  this  they  likewise  failed.  Hitherto  she  had  worked  in 
silence,  but  as  she  saw  no  prospect  of  the  Indians  relinquishing  their 
object,  she  began  to  call  loudly  for  her  husband,  as  if  he  were  really 
near.  It  had  the  desired  effect;  they  let  go  the  gun  and  hastily 
left  the  house,  while  Mrs.  Evans  sat  quietly  down  to  await  a  second 
attack,  but  the  Indians,  who  had  perhaps  seen  Mr.  Evans  and  his 
workmen  leave  the  house,  feared  he  might  be  near,  and  made  off 
with  all  speed. 

While  Mrs.  Evans  was  thus  sitting  and  brooding  over  the  melan- 
choly death  of  her  children,  anxious  to  go  to  those  in  the  garden,  but 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  297 

fearing  to  leave  her  surviving  one  in  the  house,  exposed  to  a  second 
attack,  a  man  named  Goldsby  stepped  up  to  the  door.  Never  did 
manna  fall  to  the  hungered  Jew  more  opportunely,  yet  no  sooner  did 
he  hear  her  woful  tale  than  he  turned  his  back  upon  her  and  fled 
as  if  every  tree  and  bush  had  been  an  Indian  taking  deadly  aim  at 
him.  Such  were  his  exertions  to  get  to  a  place  of  greater  safety  that 
he  brought  on  hemorrhage  of  the  lungs,  from  which  he  with  much 
difficulty  recovered. 

Seeing  herself  thus  left  to  the  mercy  of  the  savages,  Mrs.  Evans 
took  up  the  gun  she  had  taken  from  them  and  started  with  her 
remaining  daughter  to  Major  John  Taylor^s,  about  two  miles  dis- 
tant, where,  tired  and  frenzied  with  grief,  she  arrived  in  safety. 
She  had  not  been  gone  a  great  while,  when  Mr.  Evans  returned  and, 
not  suspecting  anything  wrong,  took  down  a  book,  and  was  engaged 
in  its  perusal  for  some  time,  till  finally  he  became  impatient  and 
started  to  the  garden,  where  he  supposed  Mrs.  Evans  was  gathering 
vegetables.  What  must  have  been  his  feelings  when  he  reached  the 
garden  to  see  four  of  his  children  murdered  and  scalped.  Seeing 
nothing  of  his  wife  and  eldest  daughter,  he  supposed  they  had  been 
taken  prisoners;  he  therefore  returned  quickly  to  the  house,  seized 
his  gun  and  started  for  Major  Taylor's  to  get  assistance  and  a  com- 
pany to  follow  on  and  try,  if  possible,  to  overtake  them.  Frantic 
with  grief  he  rushed  into  the  house  to  tell  his  tale  of  woe,  when  he 
was  caught  in  the  arms  of  his  brave  wife.  His  joy  at  finding  them 
was  so  great  that  he  could  scarcely  contain  himself;  he  wept,  then 
laughed,  then  thanked  God  it  was  no  worse.  As  is  common  in 
such  cases  in  a  new  country,  the  neighbors  flocked  in  to  know  the 
worst,  and  to  offer  such  aid  as  lay  in  their  power.  They  S5mipathized 
as  only  frontiersmen  can  sympathize,  with  the  bereaved  parents ; 
but  the  thought  of  having  to  bury  four  children  the  next  morning 
was  so  shocking  and  so  dreadful  to  reflect  on,  that  but  little  peace 
was  to  be  expected  for  them.  Slowly  the  reluctant  hours  of  night 
passed  away,  and  a  faint  gleam  of  light  became  visible  in  the  east- 
ern sky.  The  joyous  warblers  were  gayly  flitting  from  branch  to 
branch  and  carrolling  their  sweetest  lays,  while  the  sun  rose  above 
the  mountain  summit,  shooting  his  bright  beams  on  the  sparkling 
dewdrops  which  hung  like  so  many  diamonds  from  the  green  boughs 
of  the  mountain  shrubbery,  giving,  altogether,  an  air  of  gorgeous 
beauty  which  seemed  to  deny  the  truth  ol  the  evening's  tale.    The 

298  Southwest  Virginia,  17J,6-17S6. 

light  clouds  swimming  in  the  eastern  atmosphere,  brilliantly  tinted 
with  the  rising  sun, 

And  the  gentle  murmur  of  the  morning  breeze, 
Singing  nature's  anthem  to  the  forest  trees, 

seemed  to  say  sneh  horrid  work  could  not  be  done  by  beings  wear- 
ing human  form.  But  alas!  while  nature  teaches  naught  but  love, 
men  teach  themselves  lessons  which  call  forth  her  sternest  frowns. 

A  hasty  breakfast  was  prepared  and  the  men  set  otf  to  IMr.  Evans's 
house  tO'  bury  the  murdered  children.  With  a  heart  too  full  for 
■utterance,  the  father  led  the  way,  as  if  afraid  to  look  at  those  little 
forms  for  whose  happiness  he  had  toiled,  and  braved  the  dangers 
of  a  frontier  life.  But  a  day  ago  he  had  dandled  them  on  his  knees, 
and  listened  to  their  innocent  prattle ;  they  were  now  monuments  of 
Indian  barbarity. 

Turning  a  hill  the  fatal  garden  was  instantly  ]iainted  on  the 
retina  of  the  fond  parent's  eye,  to  be  quickly  (M-ased  l)y  the  silent 
tears  wdiich  overflowed  their  fountain  and  came  trickling  down 
his  weather  beaten  face. 

The  party  came  up  to  the  l)ack  of  th(>  house  at  the  front  of  which 
stood  the  milk-house,  over  a  spring  of  clear  water,  when,  lo !  they 
beheld  coming  up,  as  it  were  from  the  very  depth  of  the  grave,  Mary, 
a  little  child  only  four  years  old,  who  had  recovered  from  the  stun- 
ning blow  of  the  tomahawk  and  had  been  in  (|uest  of  water  at  the 
familiar  old  spring  around  which,  but  a  day  before,  she  had  sported 
in  childish  glee.  The  scalp  that  had  been  torn  from  the  skull  was 
hanging  hideously  over  her  ])ale  face,which  was  much  besmeared 
with  blood.  Rhe  stretclied  out  her  little  arms  to  meet  her  father, 
who  rushed  to  her  with  all  the  wild  joy  of  one  whose  heart  beats 
warm  with  parental  emotions !  She  had  wandered  about  in  the 
dark  from  the  time  she  had  recovered  and,  it  may  be,  had  more  than 
once  tried  to  wake  her  little  sisters  on  whose  heads  the  tomahawks 
had  fallen  with  greater  force.  This  poor,  half-nnirdered  little  child 
lived,  married  and  raised  a  largo  family."* 

In  the  spring  of  the  year  1779,  at  the  election  held  for  members 
of  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia,  Isaac  Shelby  and  David 
Campbell  were  elected  and  served  the  people  of  Washington  county 
for  this  year.  During  this  year  General  E.  Clarke,  of  Georgia,  was 
compelled  to  take  refuge  in  the  settlements  on  Watauga  and  Hol^ 

*Bickley's  History  of  Tazewell. 

Washington  County,  1777-1S70.  299 

ton,  and,  while  in  the  settlements,  repeated  to  the  hardy  frontiers- 
men many  of  the  dastardly  deeds  committed  by  the  British  forces  in 
their  invasion  and  subjugation  of  South  Carolina  and  Georgia. 
As  a  result,  many  of  the  citizens  of  these  settlements  returned  with 
him  to  his  home  in  Georgia  to  assist  in  avenging  the  wrongs  of 
their  fellow  countrymen  and,  in  addition  thereto,  creating  through- 
out Southwestern  Virginia  and  the  Holston  settlements  a  lively 
interest  in  the  affairs  to  the  south  of  the  settlements. 

The  officials  of  Washington  county,  Virginia,  from  the  first  organ- 
ization of  the  county  until  this  time,  had,  without  question,  exer- 
cised their  authority  as  low  down  as  Carter's  Valley,  upon  the  sup- 
position that  all  that  portion  of  the  country  was  in  Virginia,  but, 
on  the  30th  day  of  September  in  this  year,  an  occurrence  took 
place  in  Carter's  Valley,  lietween  William  Cocke,  lately  a  represen- 
tative from  Washington  county  in  the  I^egislature  of  Virginia,  and 
Alexander  Donaldson,  a  deputy  for  Arthur  Campbell,  that  resulted 
in  greatly  curtailing  the  territory  included  within  this  county.  The 
circumstances  connected  with  this  transaction  are  best  stated  by 
the  order  of  the  County  Court  of  Washington  county,  Virginia, 
entered  on  the  20th  of  October,  1779,  which  is  as  follows: 

"The  complaint  of  the  sheriff  against  William  Cocke  for  insulting 
and  obstructing  Alexander  Donaldson,  deputy  sheriff,  when  col- 
lecting the  public  tax  about  the  thirteenth  day  of  September  last, 
and  being  examined  saith ;  that,  being  at  a  point  on  the  north  side 
of  Holston  river  in  Carter's  Valley,  collecting  the  public  tax,  the 
said  William  Cocke,  as  he  came  to  the  door  of  the  house  in  which 
said  sheriff  was  doing  business,  said  that  there  was  the  sheriff  of 
Virginia  collecting  the  tax,  and  asked  him  what  right  he  had  to 
collect  taxes  there,  as  it  was  in  Carolina  and  never  was  in  Virginia ; 
that  he  said  the  people  were  fools  if  they  did  pay  him  public  dues, 
and  that  he  dared  him  to  serve  any  process  whatever ;  that  he,  said 
Cocke,  undertook  for  the  people,  upon  which  sundry  people  refused 
to  pay  their  tax  and  some,  that  had  paid,  wanted  their  money  back 

"Ordered  that  the  conduct  of  William  Cocke  respecting  the 
obstructing,  insulting  and  threatening  the  sheriff  in  the  execution 
of  his  office  be  represented  to  the  Executive  of  Virginia. 

"Ordered  that  if  William  Cocke  be  found  in  this  county  that  he 
be  taken  into  custody  and  caused  to  appear  before  the  justices  at  the 

300  Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786. 

next  court  to  answer  for  his  conduct  for  obstructing  the  sheriff  in 
execution  of  his  oflBce." 

As  a  result  of  this  difficulty,  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia 
and  North  Carolina  at  their  sessions,  in  the  year  1779,  appointed  Dr. 
Thomas  Walker  and  Daniel  Smith,  on  the  part  of  Virginia,  and 
Richard  Henderson  and  William  B.  Smith,  on  the  part  of  North 
Carolina,  commissioners,  to  run  the  line  between  the  two  States, 
beginning  where  Fry  and  Jefferson  and  Weldon  and  Churton  ended 
their  work,  near  Steep  Eock  creek,  if  found  to  be  truly  in  latitude 
36  degrees  30  minutes  North,  and  to  run  thence  due  west  to  the 
Tennessee  or  the  Ohio  river.  The  commissioners  ran  the  line  with- 
out trouble  for  about  forty  miles,  when  they  disagreed,  the  North 
Carolina  commissioners  claiming  the  true  line  to  be  about  two  miles 
north  of  the  place  at  which  the  commissioners  were  then  stationed. 
The  Virginia  commissioners  proceeded  to  run  the  line  to  the  Mis- 
sissippi river  and  made  their  report.  Nothing  further  will  be  said 
upon  this  subject  at  this  point,  but  it  will  be  separately  treated  in 
another  part  of  this  book.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  the  line,  as  ascer- 
tained by  the  Virginia  commissioners,  deprived  Washington  county 
of  from  one-third  to  one-half  of  the  territory  supposed  to  lie  within 
Washington  county;  and  the  North  Carolina  Legislature,  at  their 
fall  session  in  this  year,  established  Sullivan  county,  North  Caro- 
lina, afterwards  Tennessee,  and  the  government  of  that  county  was 
organized  at  the  house  of  Moses  Loony  in  the  month  of  February, 

Isaac  Shelby,  one  of  Washington  county's  representatives  in  the 
Legislature  of  Virginia,  qualified  as  county  lieutenant  and  Ephraim 
Dunlop,  Washington  county's  deputy  attorney,  was  appointed  State's 
attorney  for  the  new  county. 

The  act  of  the  General  Assembly  of  North  Carolina  erecting  the 
county  of  Sullivan  recites  that  the  then  late  extension  of  the  north- 
ern boundary  line  of  the  State  from  Holston  river,  that  lies  directly 
west  from  a  place  well  known  by  the  name  of  Steep  Eock,  makes  it 
evident  that  all  the  lands  west  of  said  place,  lying  on  the  west  and 
northwest  side  of  said  river  Holston  have,  by  mistake  of  the  settlers, 
been  held  and  deemed  to  be  in  the  State  of  Virginia;  owing  to  which 
mistake  they  have  not  entered  said  lands  in  the  proper  offices.  It 
recites  also,  that  by  a  line  lately  run,  it  appears  that  a  number  of 
such  settlers  have  fallen  into  the  State  of  North  Carolina,  and  it 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  301 

makes  provision  for  the  security  of  their  lands  and  improvements. 
These  were  the  first  lands  taken  from  the  county  as  originally 

In  the  fall  of  this  year  Andrew  Colvill^  a  citizen  of  Wolf  Hills, 
was  commissioned  as  escheator  for  Washington  county,  and  Evan 
Baker  was  appointed  deputy  commissary  on  the  western  side  of  the 
Blue  Eidge,  agreeably  to  the  order  of  the  Governor  and  Council. 

On  the  22d  day  of  March,  1780,  the  County  Court  of  this  county 
entered  several  important  orders,  among  the  number  being  one 
fixing  the  county  levy  for  the  year  1779,  at  twenty  dollars  for  each 
tithable,  and  appointing  John  Campbell,  David  Carson  and  Alex- 
ander Montgomery  commissioners  of  the  tax  for  that  year,  and 
James  Dysart,  Eobert  Craig  and  John  Kinkead  commissioners  to 
collect  that  portion  of  the  tax  that  was  payable  in  commutable 

Eobert  Craig  and  Aaron  Lewis  were  recommended  to  the  Gov- 
ernor as  fit  and  proper  persons  for  coroners  of  Washington  county 
and  were  commissioned  as  such,  and 

Benjamin  Estill,  David  Watson, 

Alexander  Montgomery,  Aaron  Lewis, 

Thomas  Montgomery,  James  Fulkerson, 

John  Latham,  David  Ward, 

Joseph  Black,  Eobert  Campbell,  and 

Alexander  Barnett, 

were  recommended  to  the  Governor  as  fit  and  proper  persons  to  be 
added  to  tlie  commission  of  the  peace  for  Washington  county,  and 
were  commissioned  as  such. 

These  recommendations  were  made  in  view  of  the  fact  that  quite 
a  number  of  the  members  of  the  court  of  this  county  had  been 
lost  to  the  county  when  the  State  line  was  run  and  Sullivan  county, 
North  Carolina,  was  formed. 

By  far  the  most  important  order  entered  by  the  court  on  this  day 
was  the  following : 

"Ordered  that  it  be  recommended  to  the  county  lieutenant  of 
this  county  not  to  call  a  general  muster  the  ensuing  month,  on 
account  of  the  apparent  danger  from  the  enemy  and  other  dis- 
tressing circumstances  of  the  county." 

The  army  of  Cornwallis  was  fast  approaching  the  southern  bor- 

302  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

(ler  of  North  Carolina,  and  every  friend  of  the  British  government 
was  stimulated  into  life  and  became  a  source  of  uneasiness  and 
trouble  to  the  back  settlements.  At  this  time  General  Rutherford, 
of  North  Carolina,  made  a  reqviisition  ujjon  Sullivan  and  Washing- 
ton counties  in  North  Carolina  for  tJie  aid  of  their  militia  in  the 
defence  of  the  State.  Cornwallis  was  meeting  with  but  little 
obstruction  in  his  march  and  contemplated  nothing  less  than  the 
overrunning  of  North  Carolina  and  the  invasion  of  Virginia.  It 
was  this  state  of  affairs  that  produced  the  alarm  among  the  set- 
tlers in  Washington  county. 

At  the  April  court,  1780,  William  Campbell  was  recommended  by 
the  court  and  commissioned  by  the  Goivernor,  as  colonel  of  the 
county  militia,  in  the  place  of  Evan  Shelby,  who  had  become  a 
citizen  of  the  State  of  North  Carolina.  Daniel  Smith  was  com- 
missioned lieutenant-colonel,  and  William  Edmiston  major.  At  the 
same  time  the  following  militia  officers  were  recommended  and 
commissioned : 

Captains  of  Militia: 
James  Crabtree,  William  Edmiston,  Jr., 

William  Edmiston,  Alexander  Barnett, 

David  Beatie,  Jr.,  David  Beatie, 

Charles  Cocke, 
and  previously  to  this  time  and  during  the  years  1778  and  1779, 
the  following  captains  of  militia  were  commissioned : 
George  Maxwell,  William  Neil, 

Thomas  Caldwell,  James  Fulkerson, 

Lieutenants  of  Militia: 
Robert  Edmiston,  Jr.,  Humberson  Lyon, 

William  Bartlett,  William  Davison,' 

William  Edmiston,  Joshua  Buckner, 

Joseph  Scott,  <i - 

and  in  the  year  1778-1779,  the  following: 

William  Blackburn,  John  Davis, 

Levi  Bishop,  Moses  Loony, 

Hugh  Crawford,  James  Leeper, 

Solomon  Litton,  Roger  Topp, 

William  Rosebrough,  Samuel  Newell, 

William  Pitman,  John  Lowry, 

George  Finley. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  303 

Ensigns  of  Militia: 
Kobert  Campbell,  John  McFerrin, 

James  Houston,  Nathaniel  Dryden, 

Andrew  Goff,  Daniel  Davison, 

Hugh  Campbell,  William  Blackmore, 

and  in  1778-1779: 

John  Sawyers,  Thomas  Sharp, 

Eees  Bowen,  George  Teeter, 

Patrick  Campbell,  Samuel  Vanhook, 

John  Steele,  William  Crockett. 

I  give  the  names  of  the  officers  of  the  county  militia  from  the 
formation  of  the  county  to  this  time  with  considerable  particularity, 
as  we  know  that  every  officer  at  the  Battle  of  King's  Mountain, 
from  Washington  count}^,  was  made  up  from  this  list.  And  it  is 
more  than  probable  that  all  the  officers  whose  names  (with  very  few 
exceptions)  have  been  given  were  present  on  that  occasion. 

At  the  county  court  held  on  the  last  Tuesday  in  April  of  this  year 
John  Yancy  and  Christopher  Acklin  were  licensed  by  the  court  to 
keep  ordinaries  in  the  town  of  Abingdon,  being  among  the  first 
ordinary  keepers  in  the  town  of  Abingdon. 

At  the  June  term  of  this  court  there  seemed  to  have  been  a  little 
trouljle  among  the  gentry,  which  is  evidenced  by  the  following  orders 
entered  by  the  court  on  that  day : 

"Ordered  that  James  Kerr  be  fined  two  hundred  pounds  for  in- 
sulting Joseph  Scott  in  open  court. 

"Ordered  that  William  Robinson  be  fined  two  hundred  pounds  for 
insulting  Joseph  Scott. 

"Ordered  that  Joseph  Scott  be  fined  two  hundred  pounds  for 
flashing  a  pistol  at  James  Kerr  in  the  court  yard. 

"Ordered  that  James  Kerr  be  fined  twenty  pounds  for  insulting 
James  Montgomery." 

At  the  same  term  of  the  court  Rol^ert  Irvin  qualified  as  deputy 
for  Arthur  Campbell,  sheriff  of  Washington  county. 

The  following  order  entered  by  the  court  on  August  17th  is  given, 
because  it  designates  the  first  settler  at  the  head  of  Little  Moccasin 

"Ordered  that  John  Snoddy,  gent,  give  Alexander  Barnett  a  list 
of  tithables  to  work  on  the  road  from  the  mouth  of  Harrold's  creek 

304  Southwest  Virginia,  171^6-1786. 

to  Alexander  Montgomery's  old  cabin,  at  the  head  of  Little  Mocca- 

During  the  summer  of  this  year  the  militia  of  this  county  was 
kept  on  the  move  in  consequence  of  the  threatened  invasion  of  the 
British  forces  from  the  South.  In  the  months  of  August  and  Sep- 
tember one  hundred  and  fifty  men  from  Washington  county  saw- 
active  service  on  New  river,  about  the  Lead  Mines,  and  over  the 
jnountains  in  North  Carolina,  under  Colonel  William  Campbell,  to 
prevent  and  suppress  any  attempted  insurrection  among  the  Tories 
in  those  quarters. 

The  Cherokee  Indians,  in  September  of  this  year,  began  to  give 
evidence  of  an  unfriendly  disposition,  and  every  indication  pointed 
to  an  Indian  war,  when  the  Governor  of  Virginia  directed  Colonel 
AYilliam  Campbell  to  take  command  of  an  expedition  against  the 
Cherokee  Indians,  and  it  was  left  to  his  choice  whether  to  take  the 
troops  do-wii  the  Tennessee  by  water  or  on  horseback.  If  the  men 
went  on  horseback  they  were  to  be  paid  for  such  pack  horses 
as  might  be  lost  without  fault  of  the  owner. 


While  preparations  were  being  made  for  this  expedition  and  men 
were  being  mustered  into  service  Colonel  William  Campbell  was 
directed  by  the  Governor  to  take  command  of  the  militia  ordered  to 
suppress  the  Tories  who  were  at  that  time  rising  in  arms,  and  to 
apply  to  that  purpose  the  same  means  and  powers  that  he  was  in- 
vested with  for  carrying  on  the  Cherokee  expedition,  and,  while  mak- 
ing every  preparation  to^  execute  the  orders  of  the  Governor,  let- 
ters were  received  by  him  from  Colonels  Isaac  Shelby  and  John 
Sevier  requesting  his  assistance  in  a  contemplated  expedition 
against  Colonel  Ferguson,  the  British  officer  who  was  then  stationed 
at  Gilberttown,  North  Carolina.  Acting  under  the  orders  of  the 
Go'vernor  previously  given,  Colonel  William  Campbell  joined  in 
this  expedition,  and  marched  a  number  of  mounted  militia  from 
this  county  to  King's  mountain,  South  Carolina. 

Many  writers,  in  speaking  of  the  campaign  against  Ferguson  and 
of  the  battle  at  King's  mountain,  make  the  statement  that  tliis 
expedition  was  without  authority  of  government,  but  Colonel  Wil- 
liam Campbell  seemed  to  think  differently,  as  is  evidenced  by  a  cer- 
tificate made  by  him  in  his  own  handwriting  in  the  year  1781  and 
recently  discovered  among  some  old  papers  in  the  auditor's  office 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  305 

at  Eichmond.    This  certificate,  with  endorsements  thereon,  is  here 
given  in  full : 

"I  hereby  certify  that  when  I  was  ordered  by  the  Executive  last 
summer  to  take  command  of  an  expedition  against  the  Cherokee 
Indians,  it  was  left  to  my  own  choice  whether  to  take  the  troops  down 
the  Tennessee  by  water,  or  on  horseback,  they  were  to  be  paid  for 
such  pack  horses  as  might  be  lost  without  default  of  the  owners. 
That  expedition  not  being  carried  on,  I  was  directed  by  His  Ex- 
cellency the  Governor  to  take  command  of  the  militia  ordered  to 
suppress  the  Tories  who  were  at  that  time  rising  in  arms,  and  to 
apply  to  that  purpose  the  same  means  and  powers  which  I  was  in- 
vested with  for  carrying  on  the  Cherokee  expedition,  under  which 
direction  I  marched  a  number  of  mounted  militia  to  King's  moun- 
tain, S.  C.  Wm.  Campbell  (Col.)" 
June  16,  1781. 
Endorsed  on  back. 

1780  certificate  of  Colonel  William  Campbell  respecting  King's 
mountain  expedition. 

The  situation  to  the  south  of  Virginia  at  this  time  was  truly 
alarming.  The  British  had  captured  Charleston,  with  General 
Lincoln  and  his  entire  army,  early  in  this  year,  and  the  war  was 
transferred  to  the  Carolinas  and  Georgia.  General  Gates,  who 
had  captured  the  British  army  at  Saratoga  and  was  in  command 
of  the  Southern  army  during  this  year,  was  disastrously  defeated 
at  Camden,  and  Colonel  Sumpter  and  his  body  of  patriots  had 
been  cut  to  pieces  by  Colonel  Tarleton  at  Pishing  creek.  Detach- 
ments from  the  British  army  were  scattered  throughout  South 
Carolina  and  Georgia.  Colonel  Buford  and  his  Virginia  forces 
had  been  defeated  and  cut  to  pieces  by  Tarleton's  cavalry  at  the 
Waxhaw's,  and  every  preparation  was  being  made  by  Lord  Corn- 
wallis  to  overrun  with  his  victorious  army  the  States  of  North 
Carolina  and  Virginia  in  the  order  named.  Lord  Cornwallis  had 
placed  the  command  of  the  western  borders  of  North  Carolina  and 
South  Carolina  under  Colonel  Patrick  Ferguson,  one  of  the  ablest 
British  commanders  at  that  time  in  the  field,  and  he  had  overrun 
and  destroyed  the  Whig  forces  in  his  territory  to  such  an  extent 
that  the  officers  and  men  of  the  Whig  forces  were  driven  across 
the  mountains  to  the  Holston  settlements.  A  portion  of  the  mili- 
I  tia  of  Sullivan  and  Washington  comities.  North  Carolina,  under 

306  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

the  comanand  of  Colonel  Isaac  Shelby,  had  been  in  the  service  of 
the  State  and  had  exhibited  a  great  deal  of  ability  and  prowess  at 
the  battles  of  Miisgi-ove's  Mill  and  Cane  Creek,  after  which  they 
retired  to  their  homes  without  suffering  any  inconvenience  from 
Ferguson  or  his  forces.  Colonel  Ferguson  was  greatly  embittered 
toward  the  forces  from  the  Holston  or  back  waters  (as  it  was  then 
termed),  and  when  he  arrived  at  Gilberttown,  he  paroled  a  Whig 
prisoner  by  the  name  of  Samuel  Phillips,  a  relative  of  Colonel 
Isaac  Shelby,  and  sent  him  to  deliver  a  message  to  the  officers  of 
militia  on  the  waters  of  the  Holston,  Watauga  and  Nolichucky, 
which  message  was  as  follows : 

"If  they  did  not  desist  from  their  opposition  to  the  British  arms 
he  would  march  his  army  over  the  mountains,  hang  their  leaders, 
and  lay  their  country  waste  with  fire  and  sword."  There  can  be  no 
question  that  Colonel  FergusO'n  was  well  informed  of  the  situa- 
tion of  the  western  settlers  and  the  route  by  which  he  could  reach 
their  country,  for  at  that  time  there  were  in  his  army  a  number  of 
Tories  from  Ihe  back  waters. 

A  crisis  had  been  reached  in  the  struggle  for  liberty,  and  now 
at  the  darkest  hour  in  the  struggle  of  tlie  patriots,  the  opportunity 
and  the  men  have  met,  when  a  band  of  western  frontiersmen  were 
to  strike  a  telling  blow  for  the  cause  of  liberty  and  all  America. 
Phillips  immediately  crossed  the  mountains  and  delivered  the  mes- 
sage to  Colonel  Shelby  as  directed,  and  gave  him  such  infornuition, 
in  addition  thereto',  as  he  had  in  regard  to  the  strengtli  and  posi- 
tion of  Ferguson  and  his  men.  Colonel  Shelby  immediately  ad- 
dressed a  letter  to  Colonel  Williaui  Campbell,  of  Washington 
county,  Virginia,  and  sent  it  by  express  by  liis  brother,  Moses 
Shelby,  while  Colonel  Shelby  went  to  the  home  of  Colonel  Jolm 
Sevier  and  informed  him  of  Ferguson's  threats,  and  suggested 
means  by  which  they  might  embody  a  force  sufficient  to  surprise 
and  attack  Ferguson  in  his  camp  and  prevent  the  imjx^nding  stroke. 
To  the  propositions  of  Colonel  Slielby,  Colonel  Sevier  readily 
agreed.  On  tlie  18th  day  of  September,  1780,  Cplonel  Charles  Mc- 
Dowell, of  "Quaker  Meadows,"  North  Carolina,  and  Colonel  An- 
drew Hampton,  of  South  Carolina,  patriot  leaders,  with  about  one 
hundred  and  sixty  men,  arrived  at  Colonel  John  Carter's  in  Carter's 
Valley,  fleeing  from  Ferguson  and  his  forces.  These  men  were 
consulted  by  Colonel  Shelby,  and  a  time  and  place  appointed  for 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  307 

the  assembling  of  all  the  forces  that  could  be  enlisted  for  this  expe- 
dition, at  the  Sj^cainore  shoals  or  flats,  on  the  Watauga  river, 
about  three  miles  below  the  present  town  of  Elizabethton,  Tennes- 
see. It  is  stated  by  many  writers  on  the  subject  that  Colonel  Wil- 
liam Campbell  refused  to  join  Shelby  in  this  expedition  when  first 
approached  upon  the  subject,  and  that  he  consented  only  upon  the 
receipt  of  a  second  and  more  urgent  request,  but  I  do  not  know 
upon  what  authority  this  statement  is  made,  for  on  the  6th  day 
of  September  of  this  year  Colonel  Campbell  was  at  Bethabara, 
Surry  county,  jSTorth  Carolina,  with  the  Washington  county  mili- 
tia, suppressing  and  preventing  insurrection  among  the  Tories  in 
that  section,  and  it  is  evident  to  any  one  acquainted  with  the  coun- 
try that  he  must  have  marched  his  men  immediately  from  that 
point  to  Washington  courthouse,  and  from  there  to  the  Sycamore 
Shoals,  to  have  reached  that  point  on  the  35th  of  September.  I  do 
not  think  there  can  be  any  doubt  that  Colonel  Campbell  joined 
in  this  expedition  very  heartily,  upon  the  receipt  of  information 
from  Shelby,  and  that  he,  with  the  Washington  county  forces,  en- 
tered u])on  this  expedition  with  the  greatest  of  enthusiasm,  as  is 
evidenced  by  the  large  numbers  of  volunteers  collected  and  the 
rapidity  of  their  movements. 

It  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  Colonel  Arthur  Campbell  was 
busy  enlisting  the  militia  of  this  county  and  equipping  them  for 
this  expedition  while  Colonel  William  Campbell  and  his  men  were 
returning  from  TsTorth  Carolina.  Colonel  Arthur  Campbell,  in 
speaking  of  the  situation  of  the  Southern  Colonies,  said :  "The  tale 
of  McDowell's  men  was  a  doleful  one,  and  tended  to  excite  the 
resentment  of  the  people,  who,  of  late,  had  become  inured  to  danger 
by  fighting  the  Indian,  and  who  had  an  utter  detestation  of  the 
tyranny  of  the  British  Government. 

Upon  the  arrival  of  Colonel  William  Campbell,  in  Abingdon, 
on  the  22d  day  of  September,  1780,  it  was  decided  that  two  hundred 
of  the  militia  of  this  county  should  accompany  him  upon  this  expe- 
dition. The  men  seemed  animated  with  a  spirit  of  patriotism  and 
asseml)led  at  Wolf  creek,  near  the  Bradley  farm  west  of  Abingdon, 
from  which  point  they  marched  immediately  for  the  Sycamore 
Shoals,  arriving  at  that  point  on  the  25th  day  of  September,  accord- 
ing to  appointment.  Colonel  William  Campbell  did  not  accompany 
the  men  to  Sycamore  shoals,  he  going  by  Colonel  Shelby's  at  Sap- 

308  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

ling  grove  (n()^y  Bristol),  while  his  men  followed  tJie  Watauga 
road.  Colonel  Artlmr  Campbell,  who  had  been  left  at  Abingdon 
with  a  portion  of  the  militia  to  defend  the  inhabitants  of  the  county 
against  any  Indian  invasion,  at  the  earnest  solicitation  of  tlic 
militia  under  his  command,  and  wisliing  to  give  all  possible  strength 
to  the  expedition  against  Colonel  Ferguson,  on  the  24th  day  of 
September  left  Abingdon  with  an  additional  two  hundred  men 
for  the  Sycamore  shoals,  and  arrived  on  the  2Gth,  just  as  the  little 
army  of  mountaineers  were  preparing  to  march  for  the  Carolinas. 
The  approach  of  Colonel  Arthur  Campbell  with  the  reinforcements 
and  the  effect  that  it  had  upon  the  army  are  best  described  in  the 
words  of  a  North  Carolina  historian: 

"When  nearly  ready  to  begin  the  marcli,  the  sound  of  approach- 
ing voices  was  heard  once  more.  The  camp  was  astir;  unexpected 
visitors  were  discovered  in  the  distance ;  nearer  they  came,  and  recog- 
nition was  announced  by  a  wild  shout  of  joy,  and  Colonel  Arthur 
Campbell  led  two  hundred  men  into  the  camp.  One  thousand  and 
fifty  voices  now  made  the  welkin  ring  with  their  glad  acclaim.  Col- 
onel Campbell,  fearing  that  there  might  not  be  men  enough  to 
secure  certain  victory,  determined,  after  Colonel  William  Campbell 
had  left,  to  reinforce  his  strength.  This  being  now  done,  he  bade 
Ills  men  'Godspeed'  and  a  hearty  'goodbye,'  and  returned  to  his 
liome  again."* 

Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  the  militia  of  Washington  county  were 
not  only  willing  to  go  when  required  to  do  so,  but  were  anxious  to 
strike  a  blow  for  their  altars  and  their  homes,  and  it  is  reasonable 
to  suppose  that,  if  the  country  had  been  free  from  the  fear  of  an 
Indian  war,  twice  four  hundred  men  would  have  voluntarily  accom- 
panied Colonel  Campbell  upon  this  expedition. 

Let  us  take  a  look  at  the  little  army  of  patriots  assembled  at  the 
Sycamore  shoals.  This  army  was  made  up  and  commanded  as 
follows : 

Colonel  William  Campbell,    400  men 

Colonel  Isaac  Shelby,  240  men 

Colonel  John  Sevier, 240  men 

Colonel  Charles  McDowell  and  Andrew  Hampton,   ....  160  men 

The  money  to  equip  the  North  Carolina  militia  was  obtained  by 


Schenk,  N.  C,  1780-1781. 

Workington  County,  1777-1870.  '  309 

Colonels  Sevier  and  Shelby  from  John  Adair,  the  North  Carolina 
entrytaker,  in  Washington  county,  N'orth  Carolina;  but  the  Vir- 
ginia militia  under  Campbell  were  equipped  by  the  Washington 
county  authorities  and  paid  by  the  State  of  Virginia.  Every  mem- 
ber of  this  little  army,  with  but  few  exceptions,  was  dressed  in  the 
woolen  clothes  manufactured  by  his  wife  and  daughters,  and  wore 
a  fur-skin  cap. 

A  distinguished  historian  describes  in  such  an  interesting  way 
the  appearance  of  these  mountaineers  as  they  began  their  march, 
that  I  give  his  statements  in  regard  thereto : 

"Their  fringed  and  tasseled  hunting-shirts  were  girded  in  by 
bead-worked  belts,  and  the  trappings  of  their  horses  were  stained 
red  and  yellow.  On  their  heads  they  wore  caps  of  coon-skin  or 
minJc-skin,  with  the  tails  hanging  down,  or  else  felt  hats,  in  each 
of  which  was  thrust  a  buck's  tail  or  a  sprig  of  evergreen.  Every 
man  carried  a  small  bore  rifle,  a  tomahawk  and  a  scalping  knife. 
A  very  few  of  the  officers  had  swords,  and  there  was  not  a  bayonet 
nor  a  tent  in  the  army."* 

It  would  seem  from  the  descriptions  given  by  historians  in  speak- 
ing of  this  expedition,  that  the  men  were  very  poorly  equipped,  but, 
from  an  inspection  of  the  records  of  this  county,  it  will  be  found 
that  the  estates  of  the  men  killed  at  the  battle  of  King's  Mountain 
were  valued  very  high,  and  that  no  part  of  their  property  was  more 
valuable  than  their  equipments  at  the  time  they  were  killed,  a  sam- 
ple of  which  is  as  follows;  appraised  value :f 

"One  blue  broadcloth  and  linen  jacket, £150 

"One  pair  of  leather  breeches, 75 

"One  great  coat,   150 

"One  horse,   600 

"Every  member  of  this  little  army  was  equipped  with  a  Deckard 
rifle,  and  they  were  not  only  splendid  horsemen  but  excellent 
marksmen ;  and  by  the  warfare  that  they  had  been  carrying  on  with 
the  Indians  they  were  accustomed  to  every  kind  of  danger  and 
hardship.  They  had  oftentimes  heard  of  the  wrongs  of  their  Whig 
kinsmen  to  the  South;  not  only  from  Colonels  McDowell  and 
Hampton  and  their  men,  but  from  General  Clarke,  of  Georgia,  and 
his  men,  and  they  were  determined,  if  possible,  to  prevent  the 

*Winniiig  of  the  West. 
fCaptain  Wm.  Edmiston  estate. 

310  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

advance  of  Colonel  Ferguson  to  this  side  of  the  mountain,  and  to  ' 
rescue  their  brethren  to  the  South  from  their  sad  plight. 

"On  the  26th  day  of  the  month  when  they  were  ready  to  march, 
the  men  assembled  in  a  grove,  and  there  the  Eev.  Samuel  Doak,  a 
Presbyterian  preacher,  the  pioneer  clergyman  of  the  frontiers, 
made  a  few  remarks  befitting  the  occasion,  closing  the  same  with  the 
Bible  quotation:  'The  sword  of  the  Lord  and  of  Gideon.'  And 
while  these  stern  hardy  men  bowed  their  heads  in  reverence,  this 
good  man  invoked  on  the  expedition  the  blessings  of  the  Lord.  He 
recounted  the  dangers  that  surrounded  his  congregation  from  the 
savages  in  their  rear  and  the  British  in  their  front;  and  reciting 
the  promises  of  mercy  contained  in  the  word  of  their  Grod,  he 
earnestly  prayed  for  protection  to  their  families  and  success  to 
those  who  were  marching  to  defend  their  homes  and  liberty;  and 
so  effective  were  his  prayers  that  tears,  stole  down  the  cheeks  of 
many  of  the  rough  and  hardy  mountaineers.  After  this  the  army 
mounted  their  horses  and  commenced  their  march  for  South  Caro- 
lina. The  route  pursued  by  these  men  upon  this  march  is  a  matter 
of  considerable  interest  to  their  descendants,  and  I  give  the  route  as 
described  by  Draper  in  his  history  of  the  'Battle  of  King's  Moun- 

"Leaving  the  S3'camore  shoals,  they  probably  ate  their  dinner  at 
Clark's  mill  on  Gap  creek,  three  miles  from  the  shoals ;  they  thence 
passed  up  Gap  creek  to  its  head,  where  they  bore  to  the  left,  cross- 
ing Little  Doe  river,  passing  on  to  the  'resting  place'  at  the  Shelv- 
ing Eock,  about  a  mile  beyond  Crab  Orchard  and  about  twenty 
miles  from  the  shoals,  where  they  encam])ed  for  the  night.  At 
this  place  a  number  of  their  horses  were  shod  by  a  man  by  the  nauje 
of  Miller. 

"The  next  morning  they  were  delayed  for  some  time  in  butchering 
several  of  their  cattle,  after  which  they  passed  on  about  four  miles. 
Beaching  the  base  of  the  Yellow  and  Boan  ]\rountains,  they 
ascended  the  mountain,  following  Bright's  trace,  through  a  gap 
between  Yellow  mountain  on  the  north  and  Boan  niiountain  on  the 
soutli.  When  they  had  reached  the  table-land  on  top  of  the  moim- 
tain,  they  found  it  covered  with  snow  shoe-mouth  deep,  on  the  sum- 
mit of  which  there  were  about  one  hundred  acres  of  beautiful  table- 
land and  a  fine  spring  that  ran  over  into  the  Watauga.  In  tliis  field 
the  soldiers  were  paraded  under  their  respective!  officers  and  were 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  3li 

ordered  to  discharge  their  rifles,  and  such  was  the  rareness  of  the 
atniospliere  that  there  was  little  or  no  report.  This  body  of  table- 
land is  known  as  the  'Bald  Place/  or  'the  Bald  of  the  Yellow.' 

"At  this  point  two  men  from  Colonel  John  Sevier's  company 
deserted.     Their  names  were  James  Crawford  and  Samuel  Cham- 
bers.   It  was  suspected  that  they  would  make  their  way  to  Colonel 
Ferguson  and  inform  him  of  the  coming  of  the  backwoodsmen,  and 
this  suspicion  was  correct.    Upon  the  discovery  of  this  fact,  it  was 
decided  by  the  commanders  that  they  would  not  pursue  the  route 
previously  proposed,  but  would  pass  by  a  more  northerly  route,  so  as 
to  confuse   Ferguson,  should  he  send  spies  to  make   discoveries. 
After  they  had  refreshments  they  passed  on  down  the  mountain  a 
few  miles  into  Elk  Hollow,  a  low  place  between  the  Yellow  and 
Eoan  mountains,  where,  at  a  fine  spring,  they  encamped  for  the 
night.     On  the  28th  they  descended  Eoaring  creek  to  the  North 
Toe  river,  and  thence  down  the  Toe  to  a  noted  spring  on  the  Daven- 
port place,  since  Tate's,  and  now  known  as  Child's  Place,  where 
they  probably  rested,  and  thence  down  to  the  mouth  of  Grassy  creek, 
where  they  encamped  and  rested  for  the  night.     On  the  29th  they 
passed  up  Grassy  creek  to  its  head,  and  over  Blue  Eidge  at  Gilles- 
pie's gap  to  Cathey's  mill,  where  they  camped.     The  country  that 
they  had  passed  through  to  this  point  cannot  be  excelled  in  roman- 
tic grandeur  anywhere  on  earth.    It  was  excellently  watered,  broken 
by  high  moamtains   and  interspersed   with  beautiful   valleys.      A 
ISTorth  Carolina  historian,  in  speaking  of  this  country,  says:  "If 
we  were  to  meet  an  army  with  music  and  banners  we  would  hardly 
notice  it.     Man  and  all  his  works  and  all  his  devices  are  sinking 
into  insignificance.     We  feel  that  we  are  approaching  nearer  and 
nearer  to  the  Almighty  Architect.     We  feel  in  all  things  about  us 
the  presence  of  the  great  Creator.     A  sense  of  awe  and  reverence 
comes  over  us,  and  we  expect  to  find  in  this  stupendous  temple  we 
are  approaching  none  but  men  of  pure  hearts  and  benignant  minds. 
But,  by  degrees,  as  we  clamber  up  the  winding  hill,  the  sensation 
of  awe  gives  way,  new  scenes  of  beauty  and  grandeur  open  upon  our 
ravished  visions,  and  a  multitude  of  emotions  swell  within  our 
hearts.    We  are  dazzled,  bewildered  and  excited,  we  know  not  how 
nor  why ;  our  souls  expand  and  swim  through  the  immensity  before 
and  around  us,  and  our  beings  seem  merged  into  the  infinite  and 
glorious  works  of  God.    This  is  the  country  of  the  fairies;  and  here 

312  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

they  liave  their  shaded  dells^  their  mock  mountains  and  their  green 
valleys,  thrown  into  ten  thousand  shapes  of  beauty.  But  higher 
up  are  the  Titian  hills ;  and  when  w©  get  among  them  we  will  find 
the  difference  between  abodes  of  the  giants  and  their  elfin  neigh- 

At  Cathey's  mill  the  troops  were  divided,  Campbell,  with  his 
men,  following  a  trail  six  miles  south  to  Wofi'ord  Fort,  the  others 
going  to  Honey  Cut  creek,  at  which  point  Colonel  Charles  McDow- 
ell, who  had  left  the  Sycamore  shoals  in  advance  of  the  troops  to 
notify  the  Carolina  Whigs  of  the  coming  of  the  mountain  men, 
rejoined  the  army.  And,  on  Saturday  morning,  the  30th  day  of 
September,  the  mountain  men  passed  over  Silver  and  Linville 
mountains  in  an  easterly  course,  and  down  Paddle's  creek  to 
"Quaker  Meadows,"  where  the  fatted  calf  was  killed  and  the  moun- 
tain men  regaled  themselves  in  the  beautiful  valley.  Soon  thereafter. 
Colonel  Benjamin  Cleveland  and  Major  Winston  joined  the  moun- 
tain men  with  three  hundred  and  fifty  North  Carolinians  from  the 
counties  of  Surry  and  Wilkes. 

It  may  be  interesting  to  our  readers  to  know  that  Surry  county. 
North  Carolina,  joined  Virginia  on  the  south,  and  embraced  that 
portion  of  North  Carolina  now  included  in  the  present  counties  of 
Ashe,  Alleghany,  Watauga  and  Mitchell,  our  nearest  neighbors  to 
the  south. 

On  Sunday  morning,  October  1st,  the  Wliigs  left  "Quaker 
Meadows"  with  light  hearts  and  eager  footsteps,  believing  that  they 
would  soon  be  upon  Ferguson  and  his  corps.  They  rapidly  advanced, 
passing  Pilot  moimtain,  and  in  the  evening  encamped  in  a  gap 
of  the  South  mountain,  near  where  the  heads  of  Cane  and  Silver 
creeks  interlock  each  other,  and  on  Monday  they  remained  in  camp 
for  the  day  because  of  the  rain  that  was  constantly  falling.  On  this 
day  it  was  decided  that  it  was  necessary  to  have  a  military  head  to 
their  organization,  and  Colonel  McDowell  was  dispatched  to  General 
Gates,  requesting  him  to  send  forward  a  general  officer  to  take 
the  command.  The  letter  addressed  by  the  officers  to  General  Gates 
and  forwarded  by  Colonel  McDowell  was  as  follows : 

Rutherford  County,  Camp  near  Gilberttown, 

October   1st,   1780. 
Sir : — We  have  now  collected  at  this  place  about  1,500  good  men, 
diawn  from  the  counties  of  Surry,  Wilkes,  Burke,  Washington  and 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  313 

Sallivan  comities  in  this  State,  and  Washington  county  in  Virginia, 
and  expect  to  be  joined  in  a  few  days  by  Colonel  Clarke,  of  Georgia, 
and  Colonel  Williams,  of  South  Carolina,  with  about  1.000  Tuore. 
As  w«  have  at  this  time  called  out  our  inintia  withoiit  any  orders 
from  the  Executives  of  our  different  States,  and  with  tbo  view  of 
expelling  the  enemy  out  of  this  part  of  the  country,  we  think  such  a 
body  0^  men  worthy  of  your  attention,  and  would  request  you  to 
send  a  general  officer  immediately  to  take  the  command  of  such 
troops  as  may  embody  in  this  quarter.  Our  troops  being  all  militia 
and  but  little  acquainted  with  discipline,  we  would  wish  him  to  be 
a  gentleman  of  address  and  able  to  keep  up  a  proper  discipline  \^'ith- 
out  disgiTsting  the  soldiery.  Every  assistance  in  our  power  shall 
be  given  the  officer  you  may  thinlc  proper  to  take  the  command  of  us. 

It  is  the  wish  of  such  of  us  as  are  acquainted  with  G-eneral  David- 
son and  Colonel  Morgan  (if  in  service)  that  one  of  these  gentlemen 
may  be  appointed  to  the  command. 

We  are  in  great  want  of  ammunition,  and  hope  you  will  endeavor 
to  have  us  properly  furnished  with  that  article. 

Colonel  McDowell  will  wait  upon  you  with  this,  who  can  inform 
you  of  the  present  situation  of  the  enemy,  and  such  other  particulars 
respecting  our  troops  as  you  may  think  necessary. 

*We  are,  sir,  your  most  obedient  and  very  humble  ser'ts. 

(Signed)  BENJ.  CLEVELAND, 


Isaac  Shelby,  in  his  old  age,  made  the  statement  that  Colonel 
McDowell  was  dispatched  upon  this  mission  for  the  purpose  ol  dis- 
posing of  his  services,  as  he,  by  reason  of  his  age,  was  too  slow  and 
too  inactive  for  the  command  of  such  an  enterprise  as  they  were 
then  engaged  in,  and  this  statement  has  been  repeated  by  most  his- 
torians. While  it  may  be  true,  there  can  be  no  good  reason  for 
believing  the  statement,  for,  at  this  time.  Colonel  McDowell  was 
only  thirty-seven  years  of  age,  was  an  active  and  very  intelligent 

*( From  original  of  "Gates  papers"  in'possession  of  the  New  York  Historical 
society. ) 

314  Southwest  Virginia,  17Ji6-1786. 

man  and  had  seen  a  great  deal  of  service,  before  that  time,  in  his 
campaigns  against  the  invaders. 

It  is  much  more  reasonable  to  believe  that  Colonel  McDowell, 
being  the  commanding  officer  in  the  coimty  where  the  army  was 
tlien  stationed  and  knowing  the  country  well,  of  his  own  accord 
jiroposed  to  deliver  tliis  message  to  General  Gates.  IT^^on  the  depart- 
ure of  Colonel  JMcDowell  the  other  colonels  assemliled  and  elected 
Colonel  AVilliam  Campbell,  of  Washington  coimty,  to  command  the 
whole,  upon  the  suggestion  of  Isaac  Shelby,  who  had,  previously 
to  this  timie,  always  from  his  earliest  manhood  taken  orders  from 
Colonel  Canipl^ell,  who  had  served  as  an  officer  in  the  Continental 

On  the  morning  of  the  5th  of  October,  the  mountain  nien  made 
preparations  to  march  from  their  camp  to  the  gap  at  South  moun- 
tain, expecting  to  find  Colonel  Ferguson  at  Gilberttown  and  attack 
liini.  Before  beginning  the  march,  Colonel  Cleveland  requested  the 
troops  to  form  a  circle,  promising  to  tell  them  the  news.  After 
which,  he  came  within  the  circle,  accompanied  by  the  other  officei*s, 
and  taking  off  his  hat,  addressed  the  troops  as  follows : 

"Now,  my  brave  fellows,  I  have  come  to  toll  you  the  news.  The 
enemy  is  at  hand  and  we  must  up  and  at  them.  Now  is  the  time 
for  every  man  of  you  to  do  his  country  a  priceless  service,  such  as 
shall  lead  your  children  to  exult  in  the  fact  that  their  fathers  were 
the  conquerors  of  Ferguson.  When  the  pincli  comes  I  sliall  l)e  with 
you.  But  if  any  of  you  shrink  from  sliaring  in  the  battle  and  the 
glory,  you  can  now  have  the  opportunity  of  l)acking  out  and  leaving; 
and  you  shall  have  a  few  minutes  for  considering  the  uiatter." 

After  which  Major  McDowell  and  Colonel  Shelby  uiade  a  few 
remarks  and  requested  all  those  who  liesitated  about  going  further 
to  step  back  three  paces  to  the  rear  when  the  word  was  given.  When 
the  word  was  given  not  one  member  of  that  army  accepted  the  priv- 
ilege, but  a  shout  went  up  from  the  assemlbled  hosts  when  it  was 
ascertained  that  there  was  not  a  coward  or  a  slink  in  that  little 
army.  After  this  the  army  marched  down  Cane  creek  a  few  mile'^ 
and  encamped  for  the  night.  On  the  following  day  they  reached  a 
point  near  Gilberttomi  and  ascertained  that  Ferguson,  hearing 
of  their  coming,  had  retreated. 

Colonel  Ferguson,  upon  hearing  of  the  approach  of  the  mountain 
men,  dispatched  two  messengers  to  Comwallis,  requesting  assist- 

Washington  County,  1777-1S70.  315 

anee  at  once,  and  issued  the  following  proclamation  to  the  country : 
"Gentlemen: — Unless  yon  wish  to  be  eat  up  by  an  inundation  of 
barbarians,  who  have  begun  by  murdering  an  unarmed  son  before 
an  aged  father,  and  afterwards  lopped  off  his  arms,  and  who,  by 
thoir  shocking  cruelties  and  irregularities,  give  the  best  proof  of 
their  cowardice  and  want  of  discipline;  I  say,  that  if  you  wish  to 
be  pinioned,  robbed  and  murdered,  and  vSee  your  wives  and  daugh- 
ters in  four  days  abused  by  the  dregs  of  mankind;  in  short,  if  you 
wish  to  deserve  to  live  and  bear  the  name  of  men,  grasp  your  arms 
in  a  moment  and  run  to  camp.  The  'Back  Water'  men  have 
crossed  the  mountains;  McDowell,  Hampton,  Shelby  and  Cleve- 
land are  at  their  head,  so  that  you  know  what  you  have  to  depend 
ii})on.  If  you  choose  to  be  degraded  forever  and  ever  by  a.  set  of 
mongrels,  say  sO'  at  once,  and  let  your  women  turn  their  backs  upon 
yoii  and  look  out  for  real  men  to  protect  them. 

Major  71st  Eegiment." 
He  then  retreated  to  Green  river,  where  he  gave  out  that  he  was 
retreating  to  Fort  Ninety-six,  South  Carolina.  He  then  proceeded 
to  Dennard's  Fort,  on  Broad  river,  from  which  point  he  marched 
about  four  miles  on  the  2d  day  of  October  and  lay  on  his  arms  all 
that  night  expecting  an  attack,  and  on  the  3d  day  of  October  he 
marched  to  Tate's  place,  where  he  sent  the  following  message  to 
Cornwallis : 

"My  Lord  : — I  am  on  my  march  to'  you  by  a  road  leading  from 
C*herokee  Ford,  nortli  of  King's  mountain.  Three  or  four  hundred 
good  soldiers  could  finish  this  business.  Something  must  be  done 
soon.    This  is  their  last  push  in  this  quarter. 


The  position  occupied  by  Ferguson  at  this  time  was  sixteen  miles 
northeast  of  King's  mountain  and  thirty-five  miles  west  of  Char- 
lotte, the  headquarters  of  Cornwallis. 

It  seems  that  it  was  the  intention  of  Ferguson,  when  he  began 
his  retreat  from  Gilberttown  to  join  Cornwallis  at  Charlotte,  with 
all  possible  speed,  but,  for  some  strange  reason,  he  was  impelled  to 
march  to  the  southwest,  where  he  was  to  meet  his  destiny  and  lose 
his  life.  He  reached  King's  mountain  on  the  evening  of  the  6th 
of  October,  where  he  pitched  his  camp  and  made  all  necessary  pre- 
parations to  defend  his  position,  and  gave  utterance  to  the  follow- 

316  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

ing  sacrilegious  boast:  "That  he  was  on  King's  mountain,  that 
he  was  king  of  that  mountain,  and  God  Almighty  could  not  drive 
him  from  it." 

The  position  occupied  by  Comwallis  and  where  the  battle  was 
fought,  is  in  York  county.  South  Carolina,  about  one  and  a  half 
miles  south  of  the  State  line.  That  portion  of  the  mountain  upon 
which  the  battle  was  fought  was  nothing  more  than  an  oblong  hill 
or  stony  ridge,  some  six  hundred  yards  long  and  about  two  hun- 
dred and  fifty  yards  across  from  one  base  to  the  other,  and  from 
sixty  to  one  hundred  and  twenty  yards  on  the  top,  tapering  to  the 
south.  "So  narrow,"  says  Mill's  Statistics,  "that  a  man,  standing 
on  it,  may  be  shot  from  either  side."  The  top  of  the  ridge  is  about 
sixty  feet  above  the  level  of  the  surrounding  country. 

Many  of  the  participants  in  the  battle  of  King's  mountain 
thought  that  they  could  see  a  resemblance  to^  that  battleground  in 
the  ridge  south  of  and  near  to  Abingdon,  and  to  this  they  gave  th^^ 
name  of  King's  mountain,  which  name  it  bears  at  the  present  time. 

The  principal  elevation  on  this  range  of  mountains  in  South 
Carolina  was  about  six  miles  from  the  battleground. 

We  left  the  mountain  men  near  Gilberttown,  where  they  were 
informed  that  Ferguson  had  retreated  some  fifty  or  sixty  miles  in 
the  direction  of  Fort  ISTinety-Six ;  which  information  greatly 
depressed  them,  but  they  determined  to  pursue,  which  they  did 
immediately,  as  far  as  Dennard's  Ford,  where  they  lost  the  trail  for 
awhile,  but  they  proceeded  to  Alexander's  Ford  of  Green  river, 
where  the  officers  determined  to  select  their  best  men,  best  hoi'scs 
and  best  rifles,  and  to  pursue  Ferguson  unremittingly  and  overtake 
him  before  he  could  receive  reinforcements  or  reach  any  fort  that 
would  give  him  protection.  The  mountain  men  were  for  some  time 
perplexed  by  the  movements  of  Ferguson,  and  were  unable  to  tell  by 
what  route  he  had  fled,  but  soon  ascertained  from  a  Whig  sympa- 
thizer, that  Ferguson,  on  the  evening  of  the  5th,  had  written  a  loi- 
ter to  Lord  Cornwallis  and  had  taken  a  position  on  the  following 
day  at  King's  moimtain. 

The  number  of  men  selected  on  the  night  of  the  5th  of  October, 
to  make  the  forced  march  to  overtake  Ferguson,  was  about  seven 
hundred,  thus  leaving  behind  abo'ut  six  hundred  and  ninety  men. 
The  Carolina  troops  thus  left  behind,  were  in  charge  of  Major 
Joseph  Herndon,  of   Cleveland's  regiment,   and  that  portion  of 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  317 

CampbeU's  regiment  left  behind  were  in  charge  of  Captain  William 
Neil.  The  men  selected  were  all  well  mounted,  while  those  left 
behind  were  not.  But  Colonel  Campbell  placed  the  Washington 
county  troops  in  charge  of  an  officer  of  much  energy  of  character, 
to  whom  he  gave  directions  to  do  ever3d;hing  in  his  power  to  expe- 
dite the  march  of  the  troops  placed  in  his  charge,  by  pushing  them 
forward  as  fast  as  possible. 

Campbell,  with  the  mounted  men,  started  in  pursuit  of  Ferguson 
on  the  morning  of  the  6th  of  October,  passing  in  a  southerly  direc- 
tion to  the  Sandy  Plains,  thence  southeasterly  to  the  Cowpens, 
about  twenty-one  miles,  which  point  they  reached  shortly  after  sun- 
set, where  they  found  Colonels  Hill,  Lacy,  Williamis  and  Graham, 
with  their  forces.  On  this  day,  they  passed  in  the  immediate  vicin- 
ity of  several  large  bodies  of  Tories,  one  of  which  numbered  six 
hundred.  "The  riflemen  from  the  mountains  had  turned  out  to 
catch  Ferguson,  and  this  was  their  rallying  cry  from  the  day  they 
left  the  Sycamore  shoals  on  the  Watauga.^'*      4 

They  did  not  intend  to  be  diverted  from  their  object,  and  there- 
fore did  not  waste  any  time  on  the  small  parties  along  their  way. 

Ensign  Kobert  Campbell,  of  the  Virginia  troops,  in  his  diary  says : 
"That  he  was  dispatched  with  a  party  of  eighty  men  to  break  up  the 
party  of  six  hundred  Tories  stationed  near  the  Cowpens,  but  that 
they  had  moved  before  the  mountaineers  reached  the  Cowpens  and 
could  not  be  overtaken  that  night." 

Captain  Colvill  undertook  to  surprise  this  same  company  the 
following  night,  but  met  with  no  better  success. 

While  the  troops  were  stationed  at  the  Cowpens,  a  Whig  spy,  who 
was  a  crippled  man,  reported  to  the  Whig  chiefs,  that  he  had  visited 
the  camp  of  Ferguson,  and  ascertained  his  plans,  and  that  his  forces 
did  not  exceed  1,500  men,  which  information  encouraged  the  moun- 
tain men  very  much,  but,  as  a  matter  of  precaution,  Enoch  Gil- 
more,  another  spy,  was  sent  out  to  gain  tlie  latest  intelligence  in 
regard  to  the  movements  of  the  enemy,  which  he  did,  and  returned 
to  the  camp  of  the  mountain  men  on  the  evening  of  the  6th,  When 
the  march  was  begun  from  the  Cowpens  on  the  evening  of  the  6th, 
the  whole  number  of  mounted  men  was  900,  besides  a  squad  of 
footmen  numbering  about  fifty. 

The  march  from  the  Cowpens  to  King's  mountain  was  made  by 

*Draper's  King's  Mountain. 

318  Southwest  Virginia,  17^6-1786. 

night  and  there  was  a  drizzle  of  rain  failing  during  most  of  the 
time.  Campbell's  men  lost  their  way,  and,  on  the  morning  of  the 
7th,  it  was  ascertained  that  they  were  not  more  than  five  miles 
from  the  Cowpens,  but  they  soon  joined  the  main  force  and  pushed 
rapidly  forward  in  an  easterly  direction,  passing  the  Cherokee  Ford 
and  on  to  Beason's  where  they  halted  for  a  short  while  and  learned 
that  Ferguson  was  only  nine  miles  off  and  in  camp. 

As  Colonel  Campbell  rode  off  froui  this  point,  a  girl  followed, 
and,  calling  to  him,  asked:  "How  many  of  you  are  there?" 
"Enough  to  wliip  Ferguson  if  we  can  find  him,"  was  the  reply, 
whereupon  the  girl,  pointing  her  finger  in  a  direct  line  to  King's 
mountain,  said :  "He  is  on  that  mountain." 

Several  persons  were  captured  between  this  point  and  Ferguson's 
camp,  one  of  the  number  being  a  man  by  the  name  of  John  Pon- 
der, upon  whose  person  was  found  a  message  from  Ferguson  to 
Comwallis  imploring  assistance.  Another  was  Henry  Watkins,  a 
Whig,  whom  Ferguson  had  just  released,  and  who  gave  the  moun- 
tain men  accurate  information  of  Ferguson  and  his  situation. 

At  this  point  the  mountain  men  were  drawn  up  in  two  lines,  two 
men  deep.  Colonel  Campbell  leading  the  right  and  Colonel  Cleve- 
land the  left,  and  proceeded  on  their  march.  When  they  came  near 
to  the  mountain,  they  moved  up  a  branch  between  two  rocky  knobs, 
beyond  which  the  enemy's  camp  was  in  full  view,  550  yards  in 
front  of  them.  This  was  at  about  3  o'clock  in  the  evening.  Orders 
were  given  for  the  men  to  dismount  and  tie  their  horses,  and  to  tie 
their  blankets  and  coats  to  the  saddles,  and  a  few  men  were  detailed 
to  guard  them.  This  was  on  the  east  side  of  King's  creek,  after 
which  the  order  was  given  to  the  men,  "Fresh  prime  your  guns,  and 
every  man  go  into  battle  firmly  resolved  to  fight  till  he  dies." 

The  army  of  Ferguson  numbered  about  1,100  men,  the  two 
armies  being  about  equal  in  number,  but  there  was  a  considerable 
difference  in  the  motives  which  prompted  them  to  fight.  The  Tories 
were  fighting  for  the  honor  of  their  king.  That  was  one  and  various 
other  motives  might  be  mentioned;  while,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
Whigs  fought  for  the  liberty  and  independence  of  the  American 
Colonies,  for  the  right  to  exercise  their  religious  views  without 
restraint  and  to  protect  their  homes  and  families  from  unprincipled 
Tories  and  savage  Indians. 

Washington  County^  1777-1870.  319 

Dr.  Draper,  in  speaking  of  tlie  Virginia  troops  who  participated 
in  tliis  battle,  says: 

"Those  men  from  the  Holston  under  Campbell  were  a  pecidiar 
people,  somewhat  of  the  character  of  Cromwell's  people.  They  were, 
almost  to  a  man,  Presb}i;erians.  In  their  homes  in  the  Holston 
Valley  they  were  settled  in  pretty  compact  congregations,  quite  tena- 
cious of  their  religious  and  civil  liberties,  as  handed  down  from 
father  to  son  from  their  Scotch-Irish  ancestors.  Their  preacher, 
Eev.  Charles  Cummings,  was  well  fitted  for  the  times;  a  man  of 
piety  and  sterling  patriotism,  who  constantly  exerted  himself  to 
encourage  his  people  to  make  every  needed  sacrifice,  and  put  forth 
every  possible  exertion  in  defence  of  the  liberties  of  their  country. 
They  were  a  remarkable  body  of  men,  botli  physically  and  mentally. 
Inured  to  frontier  life,  raised  mostly  in  Augusta  and  Eockbridge 
counties,  Virginia,  a  frontier  region  in  the  French  and  Indian  war, 
they  early  settled  on  the  Holston,  and  were  accustomed  from  their 
childhood  to  border  life  and  hardships ;  ever  ready  at  the  tap  of  the 
drum  to  turn  out  on  military  service;  in  the  busiest  crop  season, 
their  wives,  sisters  and  daughters  could,  in  tlieir  absence,  plant  and 
sow  and  harvest. 

They  were  better  educated  than  most  of  the  frontier  settlers  and 
had  a  moTc  thorough  understanding  of  the  questions  at  issue 
between  the  Colonies  and  their  mother  country.  These  men  went 
forth  to  strike  their  country's  foes,  as  did  the  patriarchs  of  old,  feel- 
ing assured  that  the  God  of  battles  was  with  them  and  that  he  would 
surely  crown  their  efforts  with  success.  They  had  no  doubts  noT 
fears.  They  trusted  in  God  and  kept  their  powder  dry.  Such  a 
thing  as  a  coward  was  not  known  among  them.  How  fitting  it  was 
that  to  such  a  band  of  men  should  have  been  assigned,  by  Camp- 
bell's own  good  judgment,  the  attack  on  Ferguson's  choicest  troops, 
his  Provincial  Eangers.  It  was  a  happy  omen  of  success,  literally 
the  forlorn  hope,  the  right  men  in  the  right  place." 

The  two  armies  now  confronted  each  other,  the  decisive  moment 
was  at  hand,  and  the  mountain  men  were  eager  to  pounce  upon  their 

Colonel  Campbell  arranged  his  forces  in  two  divisions,  making 
each  division  as  nearly  equal  as  possible,  the  two  divisions  to  sur- 
roi-nd  the  mountain.  Campbell  was  to  lead  the  Virginians  across 
the  southern  end  of  the  ridge  and  southeast  side,  then  Sevier's  regi- 

320  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

ment  and  McDowell's  and  Winston's  battalions  were  to  form  a 
column  on  the  right  wing,  northeast  of  Campl)ell  and  in  the  order 
named,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  John  Sevier.  Shelby's  regi- 
ment was  to  take  a  position  on  the  left  of  the  mountain,  opposite 
to  Campbell,  and  form  the  left  center,  Camphell's  left  and  Shelby's 
right  coming  together,  beyond  Shelby  was  placed  Williams's  com- 
mand, including  Brandon,  Hammond  and  Candler,  then  the  South 
Carolinians  under  Lacy,  Hathorn  and  Steen,  with  the  remainder 
of  the  Wilkes  and  Surry  men  under  Cleveland,  together  with  the 
Lincoln  troops  under  Chronicle  and  Hambright.  The  regiments  or 
companies  in  the  order  named  surrounded  the  mountain;  Campbell 
on  the  southeast,  then  Sevier,  McDowell,  Winston,  Hambright, 
Cleveland,  Lacy,  Williams  and  Shelby.  Campbell  was  tx3  swing 
to  the  north  the  left  of  his  column  and  Shelby  to  the 
south  with  his  right  wing,  so  that  the  two  columns  should 
cross  the  mountain  at  its  southwestern  extremity ;  and  when  all  the 
companies  were  in  position  to  form  a  complete  cordon  around  the 
mountain,  which  was  to  be  drawn  closer  to  the  center  as  the  battle 
progressed.  Colonel  Campbell,  when  everything  was  in  readiness, 
visited  in  person  every  command  in  the  little  army,  and  said  to 
the  men :  "That  if  any  of  them,  men  or  officers,  were  afraid,  to  quit 
the  ranks  and  go  home;  that  he  wished  no  man  to  engage  in  the 
action  who  could  not  fight.  That  as  for  himself  he  was  determined 
to  fight  the  enemy  a  week,  if  need  be,  to  gain  the  victory."* 

He  gave  the  necessary  orders  to  his  subordinate  officers  and  placed 
himself  at  the  head  of  his  own  regiment. 

Many  of  the  men  threw  aside  their  hats,  tying  handkerchiefs 
around  their  heads  so  as  to  be  less  likely  toi  be  retarded  by  limbs  and 
bushes  when  dashing  up  the  mountain. 

The  march  began  for  the  battleground,  and  when  the  mountain 
men  were  discovered  by  Colonel  Ferguson,  the  shrill  whistle  used 
by  him  was  distinctly  heard,  summoning  his  followers  to  arms ;  the 
battle  drums  were  beaten  and  every  preparation  was  made  in  the 
British  camp  for  battle. 

A  party  of  Colonel  Shelby's  men  captured  some  of  the  enemy's 
pickets  without  firing  a  gun. 

In  ordering  the  battle  Colonel  Campbell  had  directed  each  com- 
pany of  his  army  to  listen  for  the  Indian  "war  whoop"  from  the 

*Draper's  King's  Moiantains. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  321 

center  colmnn  when  everything  was  ready  for  the  attack.  When 
heard,  the  army  was  to  rush  forward  upon  the  enemy,  doing  all  pos- 
sible damage  and  repeating  the  same  "war-whoop." 

The  first  firing  occurred  in  the  vicinity  of  Shelby's  men,  and 
before  they  had  taken  their  position  for  the  battle,  but,  they  were 
not  permitted  to  return  the  fire,  until  they  had  gained  their  desig- 
nated position.  Colonel  Shelby  directed  his  men  to  press  on  to  their 
places  and  then  their  fire  would  not  be  lost.  Colonel  Campbell, 
about  the  timie  this  firing  began,  taking  his  position  in  front  of  his 
men,  tlirew  off  his  coat  and  shouted  at  the  top  of  his  voice.  "Here 
they  are,  my  brave  boys ;  shout  like  h — 1  and  fight  like  devils !"  The 
woods  immediately  resounded  with  shouts  of  the  line,  in  which  they 
were  heartily  joined,  first  by  Shelby's  corps,  and  then  the  shouting 
was  instantly  caught  up  by  the  others  along  the  two  wings."* 

At  the  same  time,  Captain  Andrew  Colvill,  of  the  Virginia  troops, 
and  Major  Micajah  Lewis  and  Captain  Joel  Lewis,  with  their  troops 
were  directed  by  Colonel  Campbell  to  charge  the  British  main  guard, 
about  one  half  way  up  the  spur  of  the  mountain,  which  they  did, 
and  at  this  point,  the  first  heavy  fighting  between  the  two  armies 
t'.ok  place.  The  charge  was  made  by  the  mountaineers  with  such 
A\']for  that  the  British  guard  was  forced  to  retreat,  leaving  some  of 
their  men  killed  and  wounded,  and  the  Virginia  troops  lost  Lieu- 
tenant Eobert  Edmiston  and  John  Beattie  of  Colvill's  company, 
killed,  and  Lieutenant  Samuel  Newell  of  this  same  company  was 
wounded,  but  Newell  secured  a  horse,  which  he  mounted  and 
returned  to  the  conflict.  At  this  time  an  incident  occurred  which 
is  preserved,  and  is  here  given. 

One  of  the  mountaineers  came  within  rifle  shot  of  a  British  sen- 
tinel before  the  latter  perceived  him.  On  discovering  the  Ameri- 
can, he  discharged  his  musket  and  ran  with  all  speed  toward  the 
camp  on  the  hill.  This  'adventurous  Whig,  who  had  pressed  for- 
ward considerably  in  advance  of  his  fellows,  quickly  dismounted, 
leveled  his  rifle,  firing  at  the  retreating  Briton,  the  ball  striking 
him  in  the  back  of  the  head,  when  he  fell  and  expired."* 

The  position  assigned  to  Colonel  Campbell's  men  was  the  most 
difficult  of  ascent  of  any  part  on  the  ridge,  being  very  rocky  and 
steep,  but  they  were  not  to  be  deterred  by  such  obstacles,  pressing 
up  the  mountain  little  by  little  until  they  had  reached  near  the 

^Draper's  King's  Mountains. 

322  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

top  O'f  tlie  hill,  firing  all  the  time.  When  they  had  reached  this 
point  Colonel  Ferguson  ordered  his  Eangers  tO'  charge  the  Virginia 
troops  with  fixed  bayonets,  which  they  did.  The  Virginia  troops 
stood  their  ground  for  some  time,  but  were  forced  to  retreat  down 
the  mountain.  Colonel  Campbell  and  Major  Edmiston,  with  the 
assistance  of  Lieutenant  Newell,  rallied  the  Virginia  troops.  Colo- 
nel Campbell  led  his  men  again  to  the  conflict,  and  by  constant 
and  well-directed  fire  the  Virginians  drove  the  enemy  back  and 
reached  the  summit  of  the  mountain,  when  the  m^imitain  was  cov- 
ered Avith  flame  and  smoke  and  seemed  to  thunder."* 

Colonel  Shelby,  in  speaking  of  tlie  conduct  of  the  Virginians  at 
this  time,  says : 

"Campbell,  with  his  division,  ascended  the  hill,  killing  all  that 
came  in  his  way,  till,  coming  near  enough  to  the  main  l>ody  of  the 
enemy  who  were  posted  upon  the  summit,  he  poured  in  upon  them 
a  most  deadly  flre.  The  enemy,  with  flxed  bayonets,  advanced  upon 
his  troops,  who  gave  way  and  went  down  the  hill,  where  they  rallied 
and  formed  again  and  advanced."! 

During  this  last  attack  Lieutenant  Robert  Edmiston,  Jr.,  was 
wO'Unded  in  the  arm  and  sought  shelter  behind  a  tree,  where  John 
Craig  bandaged  his  arm,  when  Edmiston  exclaimed :  "Let  us  at  it 
again,"  and  returned  to  the  front  as  if  he  had  not  been  wounded. 
A  noted  historian,  in  speaking  of  this  incident,  has  said :  "Of  such 
grit  was  Campbell's  Holston  soldiers  coui]>osed ;  and  as  long  as 
there  was  any  fighting  to  be  done  for  their  country  and  they  could 
stand  upon  their  feet,  they  never  failed  to  share  largely  in  it." 
While  Campbell's  men  were  engaged  with  the  British  Rangers,  Colo- 
nel Shelby  was  pressing  the  «iemy  from  the  southwestern  end  of 
the  mountain  to  such  an  extent  that  Ferguson  was  forced  to  with- 
draw his  Rangers  from  that  quarter  and  to  charge  Shelby's  column, 
which,  in  turn,  were  forced  to  retreat  before  tlie  Britishi  Rangers, 
but  they  were  rallied  at  the  foot  of  the  hill,  wlien  Shelby  addressed 
his  men  as  follows:  "Now,  boys,  quickly  reload  your  rifles,  and 
let's  advance  upon  them  and  give  them  another  h — 1  of  fire  !"* 

Campbell's  and  Shelby's  men  were  engaged  for  fully  ten  minutes 
before  the  other  forces  reached  their  position,  after  which  time 
Ferguson  and  his  forces  were  assailed  from  all  quarters  by  the  rifle- 

*Draper's  King's  Mountains. 

tCol.  Shelby's  letter  to  Col.  Arthur  Campbell,  October,  1780. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  333 

men,  who,  pressing  np  the  ridge,  protected  themselves  behind  the 
trees,  constantly  firing  on  the  British  forces. 

Sliortly  after  the  opening  of  the  battle  it  was  discovered  that  a 
portion  of  Ferguson's  forces  had  concealed  themselves  behind  a 
chain  of  rocks  at  a  very  dangerous  point,  from  which  they  success- 
fully assailed  the  mountain  men. 

Colonel  Shelby  directed  Ensign  Eobert  Campbell,  with  a  com- 
pany of  Virginia  troops,  to  move  to  the  right  and  to  dislodge  the 
men  from  their  position,  wliich  Campbell  did,  and  led  his  men 
within  forty  steps  of  them,  when  he  discovered  that  the  Virginia 
troops  had  been  driven  down  the  hill.  Then  he  gave  orders  to  his 
men  to  post  themselves  opposite  to  the  rocks  and  near  to  the  enemy, 
\\'hile  he  assisted  in  rallying  Colonel  Campbell's  men,  which  orders 
were  oljeyed,  Ensign  Campbell's  men  keeping  up  such  a  deadly 
fire  on  the  British,  that  Colonel  Ferguson  was  compelled  to  order 
a  strong  force  to  assist  the  men  placed  among  the  rocks,  but  they 
were  compelled  to  retire  to  another  position  on  the  mountain  be- 
fore the  close  of  the  action.  The  batttle  was  now  raging  all  around 
tlie  mountain:  the  report  of  hundreds  of  rifles  and  muskets,  the 
loud  commands  of  the  officers,  the  Indian  "war-whoops"  constantjy 
given  by  the  mountaineers,  and  the  shrill  noise  made  by  Fergu- 
son's whistle,  conspired  to  make  a  tumult  never  to  be  forgotten 
and  seldom  experienced  by  men. 

Colonel  Lacy,  with  the  South  Carolinians ;  ]\f ajor  Chronicle, 
with  his  North  Carolina  forces;  Colonels  Shelby  and  Sevier,  with 
the  Holston  forces;  Colonel  Cleveland,  with  his  boys  from  Surry, 
and  the  other  officers  in  this  little  army,  magnificently  vindicated 
in  this  conflict  their  claim  to  the  title  of  patriots.  When  the 
British  forces  would  attack  any  one  command  they  would  in  turn 
be  assailed  by  the  mountain  men  in  their  rear  and  be  forced  to 
turn  upon  their  pursuers,  but  every  charge  and  counter-charge 
saw  Ferguson's  ranks  grow  thinner  and  thinner,  and  the  coil  was 
drawn  closer  and  closer  around  the  top  of  the  mountain.  Ferguson 
and  his  forces  were  surrounded  by  the  mountain  men,  whose 
fire  was  so  constant  and  deadly  that  it  Avas  with  difficulty  that  the 
British  officers  could  rally  their  men.  The  British  troops  began 
to  give  way  on  the  southeastern  side  of  the  mountain,  where  they 
Avere  hard  pressed  by  Campbell  and  Shelby,  and  assailed  in  the  rear 
by  Cleveland,  and  on  their  flanks  by  McDowell  and  Winston.     At 

324  SoiifJnrr.^f   Viir/inin.    17 1,0-1  ISG. 

tllis  lime  two  white  \\;\\S>  W^'V  I'Jiiscd  on  the  lii'ilisli  line,  but 
Ferii'iisoii  iiimicilijitcly  cut  tliciii  down,  swearing;-  tliat  lie  would 
novor  sin-Tcii(l('i"  to  such  hiimJil li.  Sccini;-.  however,  tliat  lie  was 
Avhi])]X'cl.  with  a  tew  ri'ieiids  he  made  an  attempt  to  break  through 
the  lines  of  the  mountain  men  on  the  southeastern  side  of  the 
mountain  and  make  his  escape.  l)ut  in  making  the  effort  he  was 
shot  through  with  six  or  eight  bullets.  When  Ferguson  attempted 
to  make  his  escape  a  mountaineei'  hy  the  name  of  Gilliland,  who 
had  been  several  times  -wounded,  seeing  his  advance,  attempted  to 
fire  his  gun  at  him,  l)ut  it  snapped,  when  he  called  upon  Eol)ert 
Young,  a  member  of  his  company,  saying  to  "There  is  Fer- 
guson; shoot  him,"  to  which  Young  rei)lied:  "111  try  and  see 
wdiat  Sweet  Li])S  can  do."  wdiereupon  he  discharged  his  rifle  and 
Ferguson  fell  from  his  horse  dead,  and  his  friends  were  driven 
back  within  the  lines.  Among  the  wounds  received  by  Colonel 
Ferguson  w-as  one  through  the  head.  He  received  the  fatal  shot 
near  Colonel  John  Sevier's  company,  and  not  far  from  the  position 
occupied  by  Ensign  Eohert  Cam])bell,  who  had  been  directed  by 
Colonel  Shelby  to  dislodge  the  British  stationed  behind  a  ledge  of 
rocks  as  before  detailed. 

The  last  conflict  between  Colonel  Cam])beirs  men.  assisted  by 
Colonel  Shell)y"s  men.  and  the  British,  lasted  fully  tAventy  minutes, 
the  contestants  being  not  more  than  forty  yards  apart.  This  is 
said  to  have  been  the  most  hotly-contested  part  of  the  action. 

Colonel  Cam])l)ell  at  this  time  was  some  distance  in  front  of 
his  company  urging  them  on  to  victory,  and  while  in  this  position 
he  called  to  his  men:  "T3oys,  remember  your  lil)erty!  Come  on, 
come  on!  niy  brave  fellows;  another  gun,  another  gun  will  do  it! 
D — n  them  ;  we  must  have  them  out  of  this."* 

While  the  British  made  a  noble  stand,  they  were  driven  to  the  top 
of  the  mountain  to  their  wagons,  from  which  ])osition  they  were 
driven  immediately  into  a  low  place  in  the  mountain,  where  they 
surrendered.  Colonels  Camjibell  and  Shelby  were  ably  assisted  by 
the  bravery  of  the  men  under  Cleveland,  Lacy  and  Williams,  who 
kept  up  a  vigorous  attack  from  their  position.  Ca])tain  DePeyster, 
the  next  in  command,  upon  the  death  of  Colonel  Ferguson,  imme- 
diately hois=;ted  the  white  flag  and  called  for  quarter,  wddch  flag  was 
soon  taken  from  his  hand  bv  one  of  his  officers  on  horseback  and  held 

*Draper's  King's  Mountains. 

Washiiujton  Countij,  1777-1S70.  325 

so  high  that  it  could  be  seen  all  along  the  American  line.  This  white 
flag  was  not  the  only  one  hoisted  in  the  British  army.  At  another 
point  a  Piritisli  soldier  was  mounted  on  a  horse  and  directed  to 
hold  up  a  wJiite  handkerchief,  wliicli  ho  did,  and  was  immediately 
shot  down  by  C'hnrles  Bow  en,  a  second  soldier  suffering  the  same 
fate;  l)ut  ujion  a  tliird  atteinj)t  Major  Evan  Shell)y  received  the 
flag  and  prochiimed  the  surrender,  Imt  tlie  mountain  men  who 
had  l)een  scattered  in  the  battle  were  ccmtinually  coming  u]) 
and  continued  to  lire  witliout  comprehending  in  the  heat  of  the 
moment  what  had  happeiu'd,'"*  and  many  others  were  ignorant  of 
the  meaning  of  a  white  riag  under  sucli  circumstances,  while  others 
were  angered  at  tlie  loss  of  rehitivcs  iind  friends  at  and  before  thi^ 

In  the  summer  of  this  year  Colonel  1)11  ford,  in  command  of  a 
body  of  Virginia  troops,  had  been  siir]u-ised  and  his  command  cut 
to  pieces  by  Colonel  Tarleton  at  the  ^Vaxhaws  in  Xorth  Carolina ; 
Buford's  men,  Avhen  surrounded  by  Tarleton's  forces,  begged  for 
quarter,  which  Tarleton  declined  to  give,  and  they  were  cut  to 
pieces  without  mercy.  The  circumstances  attending  this  slaughter 
were  well  known  to  all  the  mountain  men  engaged  in  the  battle 
of  King's  Mountain,  and  the  word  "lUiford"'  had  been  adopted  as 
the  pass-word  by  the  mountain  men  before  engaging  in  this  action, 
and  when  the  British  were  driven  into  the  low  ground  hereto- 
fore described,  and  were  offering  to  surrender,  numbers  of  the 
mountain  men  were  heard  to  cry  out:  "Give  them  Buford's  play!" 
and  after  the  surrender  the  Americans  continued  to  slaughter  the 
British  for  some  time,  notwithstanding  the  efforts  of  the  Whig  offi- 
cers to  prevent  the  slaughter. 

About  this  time  Colonel  Campbell  came  running  up,  and,  see- 
ing Andrew  Evans,  a  mendjer  of  his  command,  about  to  fire  on  the 
British,  knocked  his  gun  up,  exclaiming:  "Evans,  for  God's  sake, 
don't  shoot!  It  is  nuirder  to  kill  them  now,  for  they  have  raised 
the  flag."  Cani])bell,  as  he  rushed  along,  repeated  the  order: 
"Cease  firing!  Eor  God's  sake,  cease  firing!"  Campbell  there- 
upon ordered  Captain  DePeyster,  the  British  officer,  to  dismount, 
calling  out  to  the  British  forces:  "Officers,  rank  by  yourselves.  Pri- 
soners, take  off  vour  hats  and  sit  down."     The  mountaineers  were. 

^Drapf'r's  King's  Mountains. 

32G  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-17S6. 

directed  to  surround  the  prisoners  in  one  eontinuoiis  circle  four 

Colonel  Campbell  then  proposed  to  his  troops  "three  huzzas 
for  liherty."  At  this  time  a  small  squad  of  Tories,  who  had  been 
sent  by  Colonel  Ferguson  on  a  foraging  expedition,  returned  to 
the  mountain,  and,  not  knowing  of  the  surrender,  fired  upon  the 
mountain  men,  killing  Colonel  Williams,  of  South  Carolina. 
Colonel  Campbell,  acting  upon  his  belief  that  Colonel  Tarleton 
had  arrived  with  his  detachment,  ordered  the  men  of  Colonels 
Williams'  and  Brandon's  commands  to  fire  upon  the  enemy,  which 
they  did,  killing  about  one  hundred  of  them,  when  the  mistake 
was  discovered,  and  the  firing  ceased. 

Colonel  DePeyster  delivered  his  sword  to  Colonel  Campbell, 
while  Captain  Eyerson  delivered  his  sword  to  Lieutenant  Andrew 
Kincannnn,  of  the  A'irginia  forces.  Colonel  Campbell  at  this 
time  was  in  his  shirt  sleeves,  Avith  his  collar  open,  and  when  some 
of  the  Americans  pointed  him  out  as  their  commander  the  British 
officers  at  first,  from  his  unmilitary  plight,  seemed  to  doubt  it,  but 
a  number  of  officers  now  surrendered  their  swords  to  him,  and  he  had 
several  in  his  hands  and  under  his  arms. 

The  battle  Avas  now  ended  after  fifty  minutes  of  hard  fighting. 
Colonel  Ferguson,  the  British  commander,  was  killed,  and  the 
losses  in  his  army  were  as  follows : 

British  Rangers. 

Killed, 30 

Wounded,    28 

Prisoners,    57 


Killed,    127 

Wounded,    125 

Prisoners,   649 

The  killed  and  wounded  in  the  army  of  the  mountain  men  were 
thirty  killed  and  sixty  wounded.  Colonel  Campbell's  regiment  of 
Virginians  from  Washington  county  met  with  greater  losses  than 
anj  other  regiment  engaged  in  this  battle,  the  killed  being : 

William  Edmiston,  captain. 

Rees  Bowen,  lieutenant. 

William  Blackburn,  lieutenant. 

Eobert  Edmiston,  Sr.,  lieutenant. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  3)^7 

Andrew  Edmiston,  ensign, 
llumberson  Lyon,  ensign. 
James  Laird,  ensign. 
William  Flower,  private. 
John  Beattie,  ensign. 
James  Corry,  ensign. 
Nathaniel  Dryden,  ensign. 
Nathaniel  Gist,  ensign. 
James  Phillips,  ensign. 
Thomas  McCulloch,  ensign. 
Elisha  Pepper,  private. 
Henry  Henniger,  private. 

And  the  woimded  were  as  follows : 

James  Dysart,  captain. 
Samnel  Newell,  lieutenant. 
Pobert  Edmiston,  Jr.,  lientenant. 
Frederick  Fisher,  private. 
John  Scaggs,  private. 
Benoni  Btoning,  private. 
Charles  Kilgore,  private. 
William  Bnllen,  private. 
Leonard  Hyce,  private. 
Israel  Hayter,  private, 
and  W^illiam  Moore,  private.* 

It  is  a  fact  worth  remembering  that  in  this  contest  thirteen  offi- 
cers and  three  privates  of  the  Virginia  forces  were  killed,  being 
more  than  one-half  of  all  the  killed  in  this  battle,  and  that  three 
officers  and  eighteen  privates  were  wounded,  a  little  more  than  one- 
third  of  the  men  wounded  in  this  battle ;  they  were  members  of  the 
Virginia  companies.  Another  remarkable  fact  connected  with  this 
battle  is  that  of  the  eight  members  of  Colonel  Campbell's  regiment 
by  the  name  of  Edmiston  three  were  killed  and  one  wounded. 

Among  the  rocks  where  the  Tories  had  posted  themselves  dur- 
ing this  battle  the  bodies  of  eighteen  Tories  were  found,  all  of 
whom  had  been  shot  directly  through  the  head. 

All  the  prisoners  were  placed  under  strong  guard.  The  Whigs 
encamped  for  the  night  on  the  battleground  with  the  dead  and 

*The  names  of  ten  privates  wounded  in  this  battle  cannot  be  ascertained. 

328  Soiitlnrcsf    Vinilvia.  JlJid-TTSC).     . 

woundvil.  and  |)ass('(l  i]\o  iiii;hl  aiiiid  tlic  ui-oaii^  ami  laiiicntatinii-; 
of  tlio  wounded  Tories. 

A  great  quantity  of  powdt'i'.  lead,  sl-.ot  and  ])i-ovisions  were 
eapiiircd  and  aiipropioiated  as  a  result  of  this  battle,  and  Fer- 
guson's effects  were  divided  among  the  oflfieers,  his  sword  being 
given  to  Colonel  Se\ior.  Captain  Joseph  ^leDowell  secured  six 
of  his  china  diniu'i-  ])lates  and  a  small  coffee  cup  and  saucer;  Colo- 
nel Shelby  secured  his  lai'ge  sih'cr  whistle,  whWv  a  smaller  whistle 
was  obtained  Ijy  Elias  Powell,  one  of  his  soldici's;  Colonel  Sevier, 
his  silken  sash  and  lieutenant-coloners  commission  and  DePey- 
ster's  sword;  Colonel  C'leveland,  his  riding  horse;  Colonel  Camp- 
bell, a  ]>ortion  of  his  correspondence;  Samuel  Talbot,  of  this 
countv.  removed  his  dead  body  from  the  place  where  it  lay,  and 
secured  his  pistol,  which  had  dro])ped  from  his  pocket. 

Dr.  Draper  has  preserved  several  incidents  relating  to  the  sol- 
diers from  this  county  and  their  conduct  in  this  battle,  which 
are  here  copied  in  full  : 

"During  the  battle  Captain  William  Edmiston,  of  Campbell's 
regiment,  remarked  to  John  McCrosky,  one  of  his  men,  that  he  was 
not  satisfied  with  his  ])osition,  and  dashed  forward  into  the  hot- 
test part  of  the  battle,  and  there  received  the  charge  of  DePeys- 
ter's  Eangers,  discharged  his  gun,  then  clubbed  it,  and  knocked 
the  rifle  out  of  the  grasp  of  one  of  the  P)ritons.  Seizing  him  by 
the  neck,  he  made  him  his  prisoner  and  brought  him  to  the  foot 
of  the  hill.  Peturning  again  up  the  mountain,  he  bravely  fell 
fighting  in  front  of  his  company  near  his  beloved  colonel.  His 
faithful  soldier,  ]\IcCroskey,  when  the  contest  was  ended,  went  in 
search  of  his  cai)tain,  found  him  and  related  the  great  victorv 
gained,  wlien  the  dying  man  nodded  his  satisfaction  at  the  result. 
The  stern  (V)lonel  Campbell  was  seen  to  l)r\ish  away  a  tear,  when 
he  saw  his  good  friend  and  heroic  captain  stretched  u])on  the 
ground  under  a  ti'ee  with  one  hand  clutching  his  side  as  if  to  re- 
sfi'ain  his  life-blood  from  ebl)ing  away  until  the  battle  was  over. 
He  heard  the  shout  of  victory  as  his  commander  and  friend  grasped 
his  other  hand.  Me  was  past  speaking;  but  he  kissed  his  colonel's 
hand,  smiled,  loosed  his  feeble  hold  on  life,  and  the  Christian  pa- 
triot went  to  his  reward. 

"Lieutenarit  Pees  Bowen,  A\ho  commanded  out'  of  the  com|).:inies 
of  the  Virginia    reainuMit.   was  ol)served   while  marching  forwai'd 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  339 

to  attack  the  enemy,  to  make  a  hazardous  and  unnecessary  expos- 
ure of  his  person.  Some  friend  kindly  remonstrated  with  him : 
'Wh}'^,  Bowen,  do  you  not  take  a  tree?  why  rashly  present  your- 
self to  the  deliberate  aim  of  the  Provincial  and  Tory  riflemen 
concealed  behind  every  rock  and  busli  before  you?  Death  will  in- 
evitably result  if  you  persist.  Take  to  a  tree.'  He  indignantly 
replied :  'A''o !  Xever  shall  it  be  said  that  I  sought  safety  by  hiding 
my  person  or  dodging  from  a  Briton  or  a  Tor}'  who  opposed  me  in 
the  field.'  Well  had  it  been  for  liim  and  his  country  had  he  been 
more  prudent,  and,  as  his  superiors  had  advised,  taken  shelter 
whenever  it  could  be  fovmd,  for  he  had  scarcely  concluded  his 
brave  utterance  when  a  rifle  ball  struck  him  in  the  breast.  He  fell 
and  expired. 

"An  incident  of  an  exciting  character  occurred  near  the  close 
of  the  contest  which  very  nearly  cost  the  heroic  Colonel  Cleve- 
Umd  his  life.  Charles  Bowen,  of  Captain  William.  Edmiston's 
company,  of  Campbell's  regiment,  vaguely  heard  that  his  brother 
Eees  Bowen  had  been  killed,  and  was  much  distressed  and  exas- 
perated in  consequence*.  On  the  spur  of  tlie  moment  and  without 
due  consideration  of  the  danger  he  incurred  he  commenced  a  wild 
and  hurried  search  for  his  brother,  hoping  he  might  yet  find  him 
in  a  wounded  condition  only.  He  soon  came  across  his  own  fallen 
Captain  p]dmiston  shot  in  the  head  and  dying,  and,  hurrying  from 
one  jioint  to  another,  he  at  length  found  liimself  within  fifteen  or 
twenty  paces  of  the  enemy  and  near  to  Colonel  Cleveland,  when  he 
slipped  behind  a  tree. 

"At  this  time  the  enemy  began  to  waver  and  show  signs  of  sur- 
rendering. Bowen  promptly  shot  down  the  first  man  among  them 
who  hoisted  a  flag,  and  immediately,  as  the  custom  was,  turned  his 
back  to  the  tree  to  reload,  when  Cleveland  advanced  on  foot,  sus- 
pecting from  the  wildness  of  his  actions  that  he  was  a  Tory,  and 
demanded  the  countersign,  which  Bowen,  in  his  half-bewildered 
state  of  mind  had,  for  the  time  being,  forgotten.  Cleveland,  now 
confirmed  in  his  conjectures,  immediately  leveled  his  rifle  at  Bow- 
en's  breast  and  attempted  to  shoot.  l)ut,  fortunately,  it  missed  fire. 
Bowen,  enraged  and  perhajis  hardly  aware  of  his  own  act,  jumped 
at  and  seized  Cleveland  by  the  collar,  snatched  his  tomahawk  from 
his  belt,  and  would  in  another  moment  have  Iniried  it  in  tlie  colo- 
nel's  l)i-ains   had    not   his   ai-ui    been    arrested    bv   a    soldier   named 

330  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

Buchanan,  who  knew  both  parties.  Bowen,  now  coming  to  himself, 
recollected  the  countersign  and  gave  it  "Buford,"  when  Cleveland 
dropped  his  gun  and  clasped  Bowen  in  his  arms  for  joy  that  each 
had  so  narrowly  and  unwittingly  been  restrained  from  sacrificing 
the  other.  This  same  author,  in  speaking  of  Campbell's  regiment, 

"No  regiment  had  their  .endurance  and  courage  more  severely 
tested  than  Campbell's.  They  were  the  first  in  the  onset,  the  first 
to  be  charged  down  the  declivity  by  Ferguson's  Eangers,  the  first 
to  rally  and  return  to  the  contest.  Everything  depended  upon  suc- 
cessively rallying  the  men  when  first  driven  down  the  mountain. 
Had  they  become  demoralized,  as  did  the  troops  at  Gates'  defeat 
near  Camden,  and  as  did  some  of  Greene's  militia  at  Guilford,  they 
would  have  brought  disgrace  and  disaster  upon  the  Whig  cause. 
When  repulsed  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet  the  well-known  voice  of 
tlieir  heroic  commander  bade  them  ^'halt !"  Eeturn,  my  brave  fel- 
lows, and  you  will  drive  the  enemy  immediately !"  He  was 
promptly  obeyed,  for  Campbell  and  his  officers  had  the  full  con- 
fidence and  control  of  their  mountaineers:  They  bravely  faced 
about  and  drove  the  enemy  in  turn  up  the  mountain.  In  these 
desperate  attacks  many  a  hand-to-hand  fight  and  many  an  act  of 
heroism  occurred,  the  wonder  and  admiration  of  all  beholders; 
but  there  were  so  many  heroic  incidents  where  all  were  heroes, 
that  only  the  particulars  of  here  and  there  one  have  been  handed 
down  to  us.  Ensign  Eobert  Campbell,  at  the  head  of  a  charging 
party,  -with  singular  boldness  and  address,  killed  Lieutenant  Mc- 
Ginnis,  a  brave  officer  of  Ferguson's  Eangers."* 

There  is  a  tradition  in  the  Bowen  family  that  Lieutenant  Eees 
Bowen,  when  he  received  orders  to  march  to  King's  mountain,  took 
with  him  John  Bowen,  his  son,  a  mere  boy,  who  participated  in 
the  battle  and  brought  home  to  his  mother  his  father's  bloody  shoes. 

A  similar  tradition  in  the  Breckenridge  family  is  to  the  effect 
that  Alexander  Breckenridge,  a  prosperous  farmer  living  in  the 
vicinity  of  Abingdon,  was  accompanied  to  this  battle  by  his  son, 
George  Breckenridge,  who  was  under  fifteen  years  of  age,  and  that 
he  (George  Breckenridge)  took  an  active  part  in  the  battle. 

On  the  morning  of  October  8th,  being  Sunday,  Colonel  Camp- 
bell's army  drew  the  British  baggage  wagons,  numbering  seventeen. 

*Draper's  King's  Mountain. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  331 

across  their  camiD-fires,  where  they  were  burned,  and,  with  all  the 
provision  that  they  could  possibly  carry,  they  began  their  return 
march  for  the  mountains  with  all  expedition  possible,  fearing  the 
arrival  of  Colonel  Tarleton,  encumbered  as  they  were  with  so  many 
prisoners  and  such  a  quantity  of  captured  stores.  The  prisoners 
Avere  required  to  carry  their  own  arms,  as  the  Whigs  had  no  other 
means  of  conveyance. 

The  report  was  current  in  the  camp,  upon  the  morning  the 
army  started  on  its  return,  that  Colonel  Tarleton  would  attempt 
a  rescue  of  the  prisoners,  numbering  more  than  six  hundred,  and 
it  is  stated  by  a  distinguished  Englishman,  who  was  at  that  time 
a  prisoner,  that  before  the  troops  moved  Colonel  Campbell  gave 
orders  to  his  men  that  should  they  be  attacked  on  the  march  they 
should  fire  on  and  destroy  the  prisoners;  but  it  is  exceedingly 
doubtful  whether  such  orders  were  ever  given. 

Colonel  Campbell,  with  a  party  of  men,  remained  behind  to 
bury  their  dead  countrymen,  and  he  directed  the  British  prison- 
ers to  bury  their  dead.  The  British  dead  were  interred  in  two 
pits — one  a  very  large  one,  in  which  the  Tories  Avere  laid  side  by 
side;  the  other  a  smaller  one,  in  which  doubtless  the  men  of  Fer- 
guson's corps  were  buried."* 

The  army  marched  that  day  twelve  miles  and  encamped  on  the 
eastern  bank  of  Broad  river.  The  next  day  they  marched  up  Broad 
river  and  encamped  on  the  northern  bank  of  Boran's  river,  and 
on  the  succeeding  Friday  Colonel  Campbell  issued  an  order  di- 
recting that  all  the  wounded  soldiers  who  were  not  able  to  march 
should  be  placed  by  the  companies  to  Avhich  they  belonged  at  the 
most  suitable  place  they  could  find,  Avhich  was  done.  The  army 
thereafter  moved  much  more  rapidly,  encamping  the  evening  of 
that  day  at  Bickerstaff's  Old  Fields,  where  on  the  14th  Colonel 
Campbell  issued  a  general  order  deploring  the  many  desertions 
from  the  army  and  the  felonies  committed,  by  those  who  had 
deserted,  on  the  poverty-stricken  people  of  the  country,  and  appealed 
to  the  officers  under  his  command  to  suppress  the  bad  practice. 

While  in  camp  at  this  point  the  officers  from  jSTorth  and  South 
Carolina  made  complaints  to  Colonel  Campbell  that  there  were 
among  the  prisoners  a  number  of  men  who  were  robbers  and 
assassins;  whereupon.  Colonel  Campbell  ordered  the  convening  of 

*Draper's  King's  Mountains. 

333  SouiJitrcst    Virginia,  17J/0-17SG. 

a  court-martial  to  examine  into  the  conq^laints.  A  copy  of  the 
law  of  Xorth  Carolina  was  obtained,  which  authorized  a  trial  of 
persons  charged  with  such  offences  by  a  jury  summoned  by  two 
jiia^iistrates,  and  directed  their  execution  if  found  onilty.  The 
c(uirt-iuai'tial  composed  of  the  field  officers  and  captains,  assembled 
and  conducted  their  meeting  in  an  orderly  manner.  Witnesses 
were  examined  in  every  case,  and,  during  the  day,  thirty-six  men 
Mere  tried  and  found  guilty  of  murder,  rohbery  and  other  offences, 
and  sentenced  to  be  hanged,  and  on  the  evening  of  the  same  day, 
an  oak  tree  which  stood  near  the  camp  l)y  the  road  side  was 
selected  as  a  proper  })lace  to  execute  the  orders  of  the  court.  The 
prisoners  were  brought  out,  surrounded  by  the  Whig  troops  four 
deep,  after  which,  the  lianging  l)egan.  Three  were  hanged  at  a 
time,  until  nine  of  the  condemned  men  had  been  executed.  Then 
a  young  man  by  the  name  of  Baldwin,  a  brother  of  one  of  the 
criminals,  approached,  and,  placing  his  arms  aroamd  his  brother, 
who  was  about  to  be  hanged,  wept  as  if  his  heart  would  l)reak,  and, 
while  doing  so,  cut  the  cords  tliat  bound  his  brother,  who  darted 
through  the  body  of  men  and  escaped,  every  man  being  so  much 
affected  In'  the  actions  of  young  Baldwin  that  not  one  man 
attempted  to'  recapture  or  take  his  brother.  At  this  point  Colonel 
Shelby  interposed  and  proposed  that  the  executions  should  cease, 
and  the  rest  of  the  thirty-six  condemned  criminals  escaped  hang- 
ing, being  pardoned  by  Campbell,  the  commanding  officer. 

The  Toi-y  leaders  who  were  lianged  at  Bickerstaff  were  left 
SAvinging  to  the  oak  tree  on  which  they  were  executed,  l)ut,  on  tli';' 
following  day,  after  the  departure  of  Campl)eirs  forces,  an  elderly 
lady  living  in  the  community,  with  the  assistance  of  one  man,  cut 
tlie  bodies  down  and  had  them  l)uried. 

The  march  of  the  mountaineers  began  on  the  15th  of  OctolxM-, 
and,  after  a  hard  day's  march,  through  a  constant  down]iour  of 
rain,  they  reached  "Quaker  IMeadows,"  the  borne  of  IVIajor  IMcDow- 
ell,  having  traveled  thirty-two  miles:  where  the  troops  Avere  tol- 
erably Avell  provided  for.  At  this  point  on  the  following  day,  it 
Avas  agreed  that  Colonel  Lacy  Avith  his  men  should  ret\irn  to  South 
C^arolina,  Avhile  tlie  regiments  of  Colonels  Sevier  and  Shelley,  Avitli 
that  ])ortion  of  Colonel  Campbell's  regiment  that  Avere  on  foot,  were 
directed  to  take  the  mountain  trail  and  return  to  their  homes.  The 
greater   ijortiou  of   Cami)beirs   regiment,   with   Clevehiiid,   Winston 

Washing  Ion  Counfi/,  1777-1S70.  333 

iind  McDowell  and  tlioir  Xnrth  Carolina  troops,  decided  to  remain 
in  the  service  and  act  as  a  guard  to  the  prisoners.  From  "Quaker 
Meadows,"  Canipheirs  troo])s  with  their  ])risoners.  marched  several 
days  in  the  direction  of  Hillshorough,  arriving  at  Haygood's  plan- 
tation on  Briar  creek,  where  Colonel  C^amphell  discharged  a  portion 
of  his  nwn;  from  wliich  point,  on  the  20th,  lie  addressed  a  letter 
to  his  hrother-in-law.  Colonel  Arthur  Camphell,  giving  him  an 
account  of  the  l)att]e.  which  letter  is  as  follows: 

Wilkes  county.  Cam])  on  Briar  Creek,  October  20,  1780. 
Deal-  Sir: — Ferguson  and  his  party  are  no  more  in  circumstances 
to  injure  the  citizens  of  America. 

We  came  uj)  with  him  in  Craven  connty.  South  Carolina,  posted 
on  a  height  called  King's  mountain,  about  twelve  miles  north  of  the 
CheroktH^  ford  of  Broad  riAcr,  al)out  two  o'clock  in  the  evening  of 
the  7th  instant,  we  having  marched  the  whole  night  before. 

Colonel  Shelby's  regiment  and  mine  began  the  attack,  and  sus- 
tained the  whole  fire  of  the  enemy  for  about  ten  minutes  while  the 
other  troops  were  forming  around  the  height  upon  which  the  enemy 
were  posted.  The  firing  then  became  general  and  as  hea\y  as  yon 
can  conceive  for  the  number  of  men.  The  advantageous  sitnation 
of  the  enemy — being  on  top  of  a  steep  ridge — oldiged  us  to  expose 
ourselves  exceedingly,  and  the  dislodging  of  them  was  equal  to 
driving  them  from  strong  breast-works;  though,  in  the  end,  we 
gained  the  point  of  the  ridge,  where  my  regiment  fought,  and  drove 
tliem  along  the  summit,  nearly  to  the  other  end,  Avhere  Colonel 
Cleveland  with  his  country  men  were.  There  they  were  drove  into 
a  huddle,  and  the  greatest  confusion.  The  flag  for  a  surrender 
was  immediately  hoisted  ;  and  as  soon  as  the  troops  could  be  noticed 
of  it,  the  firing  ceased,  and  the  survivors  surrendered  themselves 
])risoners  at  discretion. 

The  victory  was  complete  to  a  wish.  ^ly  regiment  has  suffered 
moi-e  than  any  other  in  the  action.  I  must  proceed  with  the  pri- 
soners until  1  can  some  way  dispose  of  them.  Probably  I  may 
go  to  Richmond  in  Virginia.  I  am,  &c., 

WU.  CV\MPBELL,  Col.  Com. 

From  Briar  creek  the  army  proceeded  by  slow  marches,  by  Salem 
to  Bethabara,  a  Moravian  village,  a  large  majority  of  the  inhab- 
itants of  which  were  Tories.     While  stationed  at  this  point.  Col- 

334  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

onels  Campbell,  Cleveland  and  Shelby  made  their  official  report  of 
the  battle  of  King's  mountain,  which  report  is  as  follows : 

"A  statement  of  the  proceedings  of  the  western  army,  from  the 
25th  day  of  September,  1780,  to  the  reduction  of  Major  Ferguson 
and  the  army  under  his  command.  On  receiving  intelligence  that 
Major  Ferguson  had  advanced  up  as  high  as  Gilberttown,  in  Ruth- 
erford county,  and  threatened  tO'  cross  the  mountains  to  the  west- 
ern waters,  Colonel .  Campbell,  with  400  men  from  Washington 
county,  Virginia,  Colonel  Isaac  Shelby  with  340  men  from  Sul- 
liran  county,  jSTorth  Carolina,  and  •  Lieutenant-Colonel  John 
Sevier  with  240  men  from  Washington  county.  North  Caro- 
lina, assembled  at  Watauga  on  the  25th  day  of  September, 
where  they  were  joined  by  Colonel  Charles  McDowell,  with 
160  men  from  the  counties  of  Burke  and  Rutherford,  who 
had  fled  before  the  enemy  to  the  western  waters.  We  be- 
gan our  march  on  the  26th,  and  on  the  30th  we  were  joined  by 
Colonel  Cleveland  on  the  Catawba  river,  with  350  men  from  the 
counties  of  Wilkes  and  Surry.  Ko  one  officer  having  properly  a 
right  to  command  in  chief,  on  the  first  day  of  October  we  dispatched 
an  express  to  ]\Iajor  General  Gates,  informing  him  of  our  situation, 
and  requested  him  to  send  a  general  officer  to  take  command  of  the 
whole.  In  the  meantime  Colonel  Campbell  was  chosen  to  act  as 
commandant  till  such  general  officer  should  arrive.  We  marched  to 
the  Cowpens,  on  Broad  river  in  South  Carolina,  where  we  were 
joined  by  Colonel  James  Williams,  with  400  men,  on  the  evening  of 
the  6th  of  October,  who  informed  us  that  the  enemy  lay  encamped 
somewhere  near  the  Cherokee  ford  of  Broad  river,  about  thirty 
miles  distant  from  us.  By  a  council  ol  the  principal  officers,  it 
was  then  thought  advisable  to  pursue  the  enemy  that  night  with 
900  of  the  best  horsemen,  and  leave  the  weak  horse  and  footmen 
to  follow  as  fast  as  possible.  We  43egan  our  march  with  900  of  the 
best  horsemen  about  eight  o'clock  the  same  evening,  and  marching 
all  night  came  up  with  the  enemy  about  three  o'clock,  P.  M.,  of  the 
7th,  who  lay  encamped  on  the  top  of  King's  mountain,  twelve 
miles  north  of  the  Cherokee  ford,  in  the  confidence  tliat  they  would 
not  be  forced  from  so  advantageous  a  post.  Previous  to  the  attack, 
on  the  march,  the  following  disposition  was  made :  Colonel  Shelby's 
regiment  formed  a  column  in  the  center  on  the  left;  Colonel  Camp- 
bell's regiment  another  on  the  right;  part  of  Colonel  Cleveland's 

Washington  County,  1111-1810.  335 

regiment,  headed  in  front  by  Major  Winston,  and  Colonel  Sevier's 
regiment  formed  a  large  column  on  the  right  wing;  the  other  part 
of  Colonel  Cleveland's  regiment,  headed  by  Colonel  Cleveland  him- 
self, and  Colonel  Williams'  regiment,  composed  the  left  wing.  In 
this  order  wo  advanced,  and  got  within  a  quarter  of  a  mile  of  the 
enemy  before  we  were  discovered.  Colonel  Shelby's  and  Colonel 
Campbell's  r(}giments  began  the  attack,  and  kept  up  a  fire  while  the 
right  and  left  wings  were  advancing  to  surround  them,  which  was 
done  in  about  five  minutes;  the  greatest  part  of  which  time  a  heavy 
and  incessant  fire  was  kept  up  on  both  sides ;  our  men  in  some  parts, 
where  the  regulars  fought,  were  obliged  to  give  way  a  small  dis- 
tance, two  or  three  times,  but  rallied  and  returned  with  additional 
ardor  to  the  attack.  The  troops  upon  the  right  having  gained  the 
summit  of  the  eminence,  obliged  the  enemy  to  retreat  along  the 
top  of  the  ridge  to  where  Colonel  Cleveland  commanded,  and  were 
tliere  stopped  by  his  brave  men.  A  flag  was  immediately  hoisted  by 
(Japtain  DePeyster,  their  commanding  officer  (Major  Ferguson 
liaving  been  killed  a  little  before),  for  a  surrender,  our  fire  imme- 
diately ceased,  and  the  enemy  laid  down  their  arms,  the  greatest 
part  of  them  charged,  and  surrendered  themselves  to  us  prisoners 
at  discretion. 

It  appeared  from  their  own  provision  returns  for  that  day,  found 
in  their  camp,  that  their  whole  force  consisted  of  1,125  men,  out 
(tf  which  they  sustained  the  following  loss:  Of  the  regulars,  one 
major,  one  captain,  two  sergeants,  and  fifteen  privates  killed; 
thirty-five  privates  wounded,  left  on  the  ground  not  able  to  march. 
I'wo  captains,  four  lieutenants,  three  ensigns,  one  surgeon,  five 
sergeants,  three  corporals,  one  drummer,  and  forty-nine  privates 
tjiken  prisoners.  Loss  of  the  Tories :  two  colonels,  three  captains 
and  201  privates  killed;  one  major  and  127  privates  wounded,  and 
left  on  th(;  ground,  not  able  to  march;  one  colonel,  twelve  cap- 
tains, eleven  lieutenants,  two  ensigns,  one  quartermaster,  one  adju- 
tant, two  commissaries,  eighteen  sergeants  and  600  privates  taken 
prisoners.  Total  loss  of  the  enemy,  1,105  men,  at  King's  mountain. 
Given  under  our  hands  at  camp. 

(Signed)  WM.  CAMPBELL, 



o  n  r' 

Soulhirest   Vinjinia,  17J/0-17S'J. 

*The  nunibor  of  men  c()iu|)()sin(i-  tlic  ai-niy  of  tlic  mountain  ukmi 
on  this  expedition  was  as  follows: 

From  \\'asliinL':toii  county.  \'a.,  under  Colonel  Win.  C'amplicll.  400 

From  Sulli\aii  county.  X .  ('..  undci'  ( 'olone]  Isaat;  Shelby "J  10 

From  Washiniitoii  county,  \.  ('.,  undei-  (Vilonel  John  Seviei-,.  .  2-iO 
Frojn   Ihirke  and    IJuthcrford.   X.   ('..  under  Colonel   Charles 

McDowell 1  CO 

From  Wilkt'S  ajid  Surry.  X".  C..  under  Colonc^I   Cleveland  and 

Majol'   John   Winston ooO 


The  official  rejxjrt  of  the  killed  and  wounded  in  the  ai'iny  of 
the  raountain  men.  as  ])uldishe(l  at  the  time  and  now  on  lilc  w  ith  tlie 
Gates'  papers  in  the  X^ew  X'ork  Tlistoi'ical  Society,  gives  the  killed 
and  wonnded  as  follows : 

liETUKN  OF  Killed  and  Wounded. 
































Campbell's . . ' 

12      4    ... 











McDowell's  . 

Thomas'    .  .  . 




Cleveland's  .... 













Brannon's. ..'... 



..J..    1. 


Tol.  Williams'     1 

'       1 









Total 1  1 






Tt  will  he  seen  that  this  report  is  imperfect  in  this,  that  it  does 
not  i-e])ort  the  killed  and  wonnded  in  Colonel  Shelby's  reo-iment, 
and,  in  addition  thereto,  it  is  known  to  imperfectly  state  the  killed 
and  wounded   in  Colonel   Campbell's  reoiment. 

On  the  "itith  day  of  October,  Colonel  Cam])hi'll  issned  an  order 
apjK)intin,a-  Cdlonel  Cleveland  to  the  command  of  the  troops  then 
encamped  at  Uethabara.  aftei-  which.  Colonels  Cam])bell  and  Sldby 

*Foote's  Bketches,   N.  C,  page.  206 

Washington  County,  1777-1S70.  337 

j-i'|)ai]\'(l  to  (iciK'i-al  Gati's's  caiii])  at  Hillsljorough,  Colonel  Shelby 
to  offer  the  services  of  a  iiuiiil)er  of  mountain  men  under  Major 
McDowell,  to  serve  under  General  ^lorgan.  The  ohject  of  Colonel 
Campbell's  visit  is  hest  stated  in  a  letter  written  l)y  him  to  Gov- 
ernor  Jefferson  from  Hillsborough,  which  letter  is  as  follows: 

"Hillsborough.  Octo])er  31,  1780. 

"Sir, — I  came  to  this  place  last  night  tO'  receive  General  Gates' 
directions  liow  to  dispose  of  the  prisoners  taken  at  King's  moun- 
tain, in  the  State  of  South  Cai'olina,  upon  the  7tli  instant.  He  has 
ordered  them  to  l)e  talcen  over  to  Montgomery  county,  where  they 
are  to  be  secured  under  proper  guards.  General  Gates  transmits 
to  your  Excellency  a  state  of  the  proceedings  of  our  little  party  to 
the  westward.  I  flatter  myself  we  have  much  relieved  that  part  of 
the  country  from  its  late  distress. 

"I  am,  your  Excellency's  most  ohedient  and  very  humble  servant, 


General  Gates  directed  Colonel  William  Preston  to  prepare  a 
proper  place  for  the  reception  and  care  of  the  prisoners,  but  Colonel 
Preston  immediately  answered  General  Gates,  informing  him  that 
the  Lead  Mines  would  be  an  unsafe  place  for  the  prisoners,  as  a 
large  portion  of  the  inhabitants  of  Montgomery  county  were  dis- 
affected, and  advised  General  Gates  to  send  the  prisoners  to  Bote- 
tourt county.  General  Gates,  ujwn  receipt  of  Colonel  Preston's 
letter,  was  in  doubt  as  to  the  proper  disposition  of  the  prisoners, 
and  Colonel  Campbell  advised  him  to  send  the  prisoners  north  to 
Washington's  army,  which  idea  General  Gates  partially  approved, 
and  directed  Colonel  Campbell  to  proceed  to  Eichmond  with  dis- 
patches to  Governor  Jefferson  on  the  subject,  which  matter  was  re- 
ferred to  the  Congress  of  the  United  States  by  Governor  Jefferson, 
and  that  body,  on  the  20th  of  !N"oveniber,  expressed  it  as  their 
opinion  that  the  governors  of  the  several  States  wdiose  citizens  were 
numbered  among  the  prisoners  should  make  such  orders  respecting 
the  prisoners  as  the  public  security  and  the  laws  of  the  respective 
States  may  require.  Acting  under  this  recommendation  of  Con- 
gress, that  portion  of  the  prisoners  that  had  not  previously  thereto 
escaped  were  either  paroled  or  enlisted  in  the  militia  of  the  States 
of  North  and  South  Carolina. 

Governor  Jefferson,  upon  receipt  of  General  Gates'  report  of  the 

338  Southwest  Virgitiia,  17J,6-17S6. 

battle  of  King's  mountain,  transmitted  the  same  to  the  Congress 
of  the  United  Colonies,  which  body,  on  the  15th  of  November, 
adopted  the  following  resolution: 

"Nov.  13,  1780. 

"A  letter  of  the  Tth  from  Governor  Jeflerson  was  read,  inclosing 
a  letter  of  the  first  from  Major-General  Gates  with  a  particular 
account  of  the  victory  ol)tained  by  the  militia  over  the  enemy  at 
King's  mountain,  on  the  7th  of  October,  last,  whereupon  Eesolved : — 

"That  Congress  entertain  a  high  sense  of  the  spirited  and  mili- 
tary conduct  of  Colonel  Campbell  and  the  officers  and  privates  of 
the  militia  under  his  command,  displayed  in  the  action  of  October, 
7tli,  in  which  a  complete  victory  was  obtained  over  superior  num- 
bers of  the  enemy  advantageously  posted  on  King's  mountain,  in 
the  State  of  S.  Carolina,  and  that  this  resolution  be  published  by 
the  commanding  officer  of  the  southern  army,  in  general  orders." 

On  tlie  15th  of  tlie  same  month  the  Senate  of  Virginia  passed 
the  following  resolutions : 

"Eesolved,  neminc  contradicente,  that  the  thanks  of  this  House 
ai-e  justl}'  due  to  Colonel  William  Campbell,  of  Wasliington  count_v, 
and  the  brave  officers  and  soldiers  under  his  command,  who,  with 
an  ardor  truly  patriotic  in  the  month  of  September  last,  without 
waiting  for  the  call  of  Go\'ernment,  voluntarily  marched  out  to 
oppose  the  common  enemy,  at  the  time  making  depredations  on  the 
frontiers  of  North  Carolina,  and  on  the  seventh  day  of  October,  by 
a  Avell-timed,  judicious  and  spirited  attack,  with  a  force  inferior 
to  that  of  ]\rajor  Ferguson's,  then  advantageously  posted  on  King's 
mountain,  with  upwards  of  eleven  hundred  men,  and  by  a  perse- 
verance and  gallantry  rarely  to  be  met  with,  even  among  veteran 
troops,  totally  defeated  the  whole  party,  whereby,  a  formidable  and 
dangerous  scheme  of  the  enemy  was  effectually  frustrated." 

On  the  lOtli  day  of  November  the  Legislature  of  Virginia 
adopted  the  folloMang  resolutions: 

"Eesolved  that  the  thanks  of  this  House  be  given  to  Colonel 
William  Campbell,  of  the  county  of  Washington,  and  the  officers 
and  soldiers  under  his  command,  who  spontaneously  equipped 
tliemselves,  and  went  forth  to  the  aid  of  a  sister  State;  suffering 
distress  under  the  invasion  and  ravage  of  the  common  enemy,  and 
wlio,  combined  with  some  detachments  from  the  neighboring 
Slates,  judiciously  concerted   and  bravely  executed   an  attack  on 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  339 

a  party  of  the  enemy  commanded  by  Major  Ferguson,  consisting 
of  about  1,105  men,  British  and  Tories,  strongly  posted  on  King's 
mountain,  whereby,  after  a  severe  and  bloody  conflict  of  upwards 
of  an  hour,  the  survivors  of  the  enemy  were  compelled  to  surren- 
der themselves  prisoners  of  war;  and  that  Colonel  Campbell  be  re- 
quested to  communicate  the  contents  of  this  resolution  to  the  gal- 
lant officers  and  soUliers  who  composed  his  party." 

Joseph  Jones,  Iiichard  Henry  Lee  and  Colonel  William  Fleming 
wo]-e  appointed  a  couimittee  to  communicate  the  foregoing  vote 
of  thanlcs  to  Colonel  Campbell,  which  they  did,  to  which  Colonel 
Cauipljell  was  pleased  to  return  the  following  answer : 

''Gentlemen, — I  am  infinitely  happy  in  receiving  this  public  tes- 
timony of  the  approbation  of  uiy  country  for  my  late  services  in 
South  Carolina.  It  is  a  reward  far  above  my  expectations,  and  I 
esteem  it  the  noblest  a  soldier  can  receive  from  a  virtuous  people. 
Through  you,  gentlemen,  I  wish  to  communicate  the  high  sense 
I  have  of  it  to  the  House  of  Delegates.  I  owe,  under  Providence, 
much  to  the  brave  officers  and  soldiers  who'  served  with  me;  and  I 
shall  take  the  earliest  opportunity  of  transmitting  the  resolve  of 
your  House  to  them,  who,  I  am  persuaded  will  experience  all  the 
honest,  heartfelt  satisfaction,  I  feel  myself  on  this  occasion." 

Upon  the  receipt  of  Colonel  Campbell's  answer,  the  General  As- 
sembly of  Virginia  adopted  the  following  resolution : 

"Ordered  that  a  good  horse,  with  elegant  furniture,  and  a 
sword,  be  purchased  at  the  public  expense  and  presented  to  Gen- 
eral Campbell,  as  a  fartber  testimony  of  the  high  sense  the  Gen- 
eral Assembly  entertain  of  his  late  important  services  to  his  coim- 

This  resolution  was  not  carried  into  execution  in  the  lifetime 
of  Colonel  Campbell,  but  the  horse  and  sword  were  afterwards  pre- 
sented to  William  C.  Preston,  a  grandson  of  Colonel  Campbell's, 
and  United  States  Senator  for  many  years  from  South  Carolina. 
The  gratitude  of  the  people  of  Virginia  to  Colonel  Campbell  and 
his  brave  men  for  the  great  service  they  had  rendered  their  country 
was  unbounded,  and  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  exhausted 
every  resource  in  their  power  to  make  evident  the  gratification  of 
the  people. 

On  the  14th  of  Jime,  1781,  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia 
adopted  the  following  resolution : 

340  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

".Resolved,  that  AY  in.  Campbell,  Esq.,  be  appointed  a  Brigadier- 
General  in  the  militia  of  this  Commonwealth,  and  the  Governor 
elect  do  commission  him  accordingly." 

And  on  the  22d  of  November,  1783,  after  the  death  of  General 
Campbell,  the  General  Assembly  adopted  the  following  resolution: 

"Eesolved,  That  after  the  lands  given  by  law  as  bounties  to  the 
officers  and  soldiers  shall  be  surveyed  and  laid  off,  five  thousand 
acres  of  the  surplus  be  granted  to  Charles  Campbell,  in  considera- 
tion of  the  meritorious  services  of  his  late  father,  General  Camp- 

And  on  the  9th  day  of  December,  1780,  the  General  Assembly 
adopted   the   following   resolution : 

"Eesolved,  That  the  Governor  be  directed  to  forward  to  Wash- 
ington county,  thirty  bushels  of  salt  and  six  hundred  pounds  cash, 
toi  be  by  the  court  of  that  county  distributed  among  the  widows  and 
orphans  of  the  slain  and  wounded  officers  and  soldiers  of  the  corps 
that  fought  at  King's  mountain,  in  such  proportion  as  by  the  said 
court  may  be  judged  proper." 

It  is  doubtful  whether  there  is  another  county  in  this  Union, 
whose  citizens,  either  voluntarily  or  by  command  of  the  govern- 
ment, rendered  such  valuable  services  to  their  country  in  a  time  of 
imminent  danger,  as  did  the  citizens  of  Washington  county  upon 
this  occasion,  and  you  may  search  history  in  vain  for  another 
instance  in  which  the  government  of  this  Union  or  of  any  State 
has  shown  such  gratitude  to  the  actors. 

Thomas  Jefferson,  in  speaking  of  this  expedition  in  after  years, 
said:  "I  well  remember  the  deep  and  grateful  impression  made  on 
the  mind  of  every  one  by  that  memorable  victory.  It  was  the  joy- 
ful annunciation  of  that  turn  in  the  tide  of  success  which  term- 
inated the  Eevolutionary  war  with  the  seal  of  our  independence." 

And  America's  greatest  historian,  in  speaking  of  this  expedition 
and  its  effect  upon  the  public  mind,  said : 

"The  victory  at  King's  mountain,  which,  in  the  spirit  of  the 
American  soldiers  was  like  the  rising  at  Concord,  in  its  effect  like 
the  success  at  Bennington,  changed  the  aspects  of  the  war.  The 
loyalist  no  longer  dared  to  rise.  It  fired  the  patriots  of  the  two 
Carolinas  with  fresh  zeal.  It  encouraged  the  fragments  of  the 
defeated  and  scattered  American  army  to  seek  each  other  and 
organize  themselves  anew.    It  quickened  the  Legislature  of  North 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  341 

Carolina  to  earnest  efforts.  It  encouraged  Virginia  to  devote  her 
resources  to  the  country  south  of  her  border." 

The  appearance  on  the  frontiers  of  a  numerous  enemy  from 
settlements  hej^ond  the  mountains,  whose  very  names  had  been 
unkno-wTi  to  the  British,  took  CoTnwallis  by  surprise,  and  their  suc- 
cess was  fatal  to  his  intended  expedition.  He  had  hoped  to  step 
with  ease  from  one  Carolina  to  the  other  and  from  those  to  the  con- 
quest of  Virginia,  and  he  had  now  no  other  choice  but  to  retreat."* 

Before  closing  this  account,  it  is  but  proper  that  there  should  be 
given  an  incident  connected  with  one  of  Washington  county's  brave 
soldiers,  who  lost  a  leg  and  who  was  badly  wounded  in  his  arm  in 
this  battle. 

"Among  the  wounded  left  by  General  Campbell  at  Bicker- 
staff  was  William  Moore.  Fpon  the  rotTirn  of  the  Virginia  troops 
to  their  homes,  information  was  imparted  to  Moore's  wife  of  the 
wounding  of  her  hiisband,  the  brave  part  he  had  taken  in  the  action 
and  the  disposition  made  of  him  at  Bickerstaff,  whereupon,  she 
immediately  mounted  her  hoi*se  and,  alone,  traveled  in  the  month 
of  N"ovember  the  long  and  dangerous  road  from  her  home  in  the 
upper  end  of  this  county  to  Bickerstaff  in  North  Carolina,  where 
she  found  her  husband,  nursed  him  l)ack  to  health  and  strength, 
and  brought  him  back  to  his  homo,  where  he  lived  an  honored  life 
until  the  year  182G. 

Tradition  says  that  he  was  an  elder  in  the  Ebbing  Spring  Pres- 
byterian church,  and  that  for  many  years  before  his  death  he  con- 
stantly attended  his  cliurch;  and,  at  every  meeting,  immediately 
upon  the  conclusion  of  the  services,  he  would  take  his  position,  upon 
his  crutch,  at  the  entrance  to  the  church,  and  receive  the  contribii- 
tions  of  the  people.  Many  of  the  descendants  of  William  Moore 
and  his  wife,  who  was  equally  as  brave  as  he,  at  the  present  time 
live  in  the  upper  end  of  this  county  and  are  numbered  among  our 
best  citizens. 

At  the  time  Colonel  Campbell  decided  to  join  the  expedition 
against  Colonel  Ferguson,  he  was  making  the  necessary  prepara- 
tions for  an  expedition  against  the  Cherokee  Indians,  under  orders 
from  Governor  Jefferson,  which  orders  were  as  follows : 

^^  *Bancroft. 

342  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

In  Council,  June  22,  1780. 

Sir: — Orders  have  been  sent  to  the  county  lieutenants  of  Mont- 
gomery and  AVashington,  to  furnish  250  of  their  militia  to  proceed 
in  conjunction  with  the  Carolinians  against  the  Chickamoggas. 
You  are  hereby  autliorized  to  take  command  of  said  men.  Should 
the  Carolinians  not  have  at  present  such  an  expedition  in  contem- 
plation, if  you  can  engage  them  to  concur  as  volimteers,  either  at 
their  own  expense  or  that  of  their  State,  it  is  recommended  to  you 
to  do  it.  Take  great  care  to  distinguish  the  friendly  from  the  hos- 
tile part  of  the  Cherokee  nation,  and  to  protect  the  former  while  you 
severely  punish  the  latter.  The  commissary  and  quartermaster  in 
the  Southern  department  is  hereby  required  to  furnish  you  all  the 
aid  of  his  department.  Should  the  men,  for  the  purpose  of  dis- 
patch, furnish  horses  for  themselves  to  ride,  let  them  be  previously 
.'ippraised,  as  in  cases  of  impress,  and  for  such  as  shall  be  killed,  die 
or  be  lost  in  the  service  without  any  default  of  the  owner,  payment 
shall  be  made  by  tlie  public.  An  order  was  lodged  with  Colonel 
Preston  for  1,000  poimds  of  powder  from  the  lead  mines  for  this 
expedition;  and  you  receive  herewith  an  order  for  500  pounds  of 
j)owder  from  Colonel  Fleming  for  the  same  purpose,  of  the  expendi- 
ture of  which  you  will  render  account. 

I  am,  sir,  your  very  humble  servant, 


Colonel  Campbell,  in  his  certificate  heretofore  given,  states  this 
to  have  been  his  authority  for  taking  his  men  upon  the  expedition 
against  Ferguson. 

Upon  the  return  of  Colonel  William  Campbell  and  his  forces 
from  King's  mountain,  Colonel  Arthur  Campbell,  the  county  lieu- 
tenant of  Washington  county,  immediately  proceeded  to  organize 
and  carry  on  the  expedition  against  the  Cherokees,  as  directed  by 
Governor  Jefferson.  Upon  his  return  from  this  expedition,  on  the 
15th  of  January,  1781,  he  made  a  report  to  the  Governor  of  Vir- 
ginia, which  is  so  full  and  complete,  that  I  here  give  it  in  the  words 
of  Colonel  Arthur  Campbell: 

"Sir: — The  militia  of  this  and  the  two  western  North  Carolina 
counties  have  been  fortunate  enough  to  frustrate  the  designs  of  the 
Cherokees.     On  my  reaching  the  frontiers  I  found  the  Indians 

*Gibb's  Doc.  His.  of  the  American  Revolution,  Vol.  2. 

Washington  County,  1777-1S70.  343 

meant  to  annoy  us  by  small  parties,  and  carry  off  horses.  To  resist 
them  effectually,  the  apparently  best  measure  was  to  transfer  the 
war,  without  delay,  to  their  own  borders.  To  raise  a  force  suffi- 
cient and  provide  them  with  provisions  and  other  necessaries  seemed 
to  be  a  work  of  time  that  would  be  accompanied  with  uncommon 
difficulties,  especially  in  the  winter  season;  our  situation  was  cri- 
tical, and  nothing  but  an  extraordinary  effort  could  save  us  and 
disappoint  the  views  of  the  enemy;  all  the  miseries  of  1776  came 
fresh  into  remembrance,  and,  to  avoid  a  like  scene,  men  flew  to  their 
arms  and  went  to  the  field.  The  Wattago  men,  under  Lieutenant 
Sevier,  first  marched  to  the  amount  of  about  three  hundred.  The 
militia  of  this  with  that  of  Sullivan  county  made  400  more.  The 
place  of  rendezvous  was  to  be  on  this  side  of  the  French  river. 
Colonel  Sevier,  with  his  men,  got  on  the  path  before  the  others, 
and  by  means  of  some  discoveries  made  by  his  scouts  he  was  in- 
duced to  cross  the  river  in  pursuit  of  a  party  of  Indians  tliat  had 
been  coming  towards  our  settlements.  On  the  IGtli  of  December 
he  fell  in  with  a  party,  since  found  to  consist  of  seventy  Indians, 
mostly  from  the  town  of  Ohote,  of  which  were  killed  thirteen,  and 
he  took  all  their  baggage,  etc.,  in  which  were  some  of  Clinton's 
Proclamations  and  other  documents  expressive  of  their  hostile  de- 
signs against  us. 

"After  this  action  the  Wattago  corps  tho't  it  proper  to  retreat 
into  an  island  of  the  river.  The  22d  I  crossed  the  French  river, 
and  found  the  Wattago  men  in  great  want  of  provisions.  We  gave 
them  a  supply  from  our  small  stock:  and  the  next  day  made  a 
forced  march  towards  the  Tenasee.  The  success  of  the  enterprise 
seemed  to  rest  on  our  safely  reaching  the  further  bank  of  that 
river:  as  we  had  information  the  Indians  had  obstructed  the  com- 
mon fording  places,  and  had  a  force  ready  there  to  oppose  our 
crossing.  The  meaning  of  the  24th  I  made  a  feint  towards  the 
Island  Town,  and,  with  the  main  body,  passed  the  river  without  re- 
sistance at  Timotlee. 

"We  were  now  discO'vered,  such  of  the  Indians  as  we  saw  seemed 
to  be  flying  in  consternation.  Here  I  divided  my  force,  sending  a 
part  to  attack  the  town  below,  and  with  the  other  I  proceeded 
towards  their  principal  town  Chote.  Just  as  I  passed  a  defile  above 
Toque,  I  observed  the  Indians  in  force,  stretching  along  the  hills 
below  Chote,  with  an  apparent  design  to  attack  our  van  there  with- 

344  Southivest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

out  our  view;  but  the  main  bcHly  too  soon  came  iu  sight  for  me 
to  decoy  them  from  ofO  the  hills.  So  they  quietly  let  us  pass  in 
order,  without  firing  a  gun,  except  a  few  scattering  shot  at  our 
rear;  at  a  great  distance  from  the  Cleft,  we  soon  were  in  possession 
of  their  beloved  Town,  in  Avhieh  we  found  a  welcome  supply  of  pro- 

^'The  35th,  Major  Martin  went  with  a  detachment  to  discover 
the  route  the  enemy  were  flying  oif  by.  He  surprised  a  party  of 
Indians,  took  one  scalp  and  seventeen  horses  loaded  with  clothing, 
skins  and  house  furniture.  He  discovered  that  most  of  the  fugi- 
tives were  making  towards  Telico  and  the  TTi^\'asee.  The  same 
day,  Captain  Crabtree,  of  the  Virginia  Eeg't  was  detached  with 
sixty  men  to  burn  the  town  of  Chilhowee.  He  succeeded  in  setting 
fire  to  that  part  of  it  situated  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  altho" 
in  the  time,  he  was  attacked  by  a  superior  force.  He  made  his  re- 
treat good. 

"The  36th,  IMajor  Tipton,  of  the  Carolina  Corps,  was  detached 
with  150  mounted  infantry,  with  orders  to  cross  the  river,  dislodge 
the  enemy  on  that  side  and  destroy  the  town  of  Tilassee.  At  the 
same  time  Major  Gilbert  Christian,  with  150  foot,  was  to  patrol 
the  hills  on  the  south  side  of  Chilhowee  and  burn  the  remaining 
part  of  that  town.  This  party  did  their  duty,  killed  three  Indians 
and  took  nine  prisoners.  The  officer  of  the  Horse,  by  unmilitary 
behavior,  failed  in  crossing  the  river.    This  trip  took  two  days. 

"In  this  time,  the  famous  Indian  woman,  Nancy  Ward,  came 
to  camp;  she  gave  us  various  intelligence  and  made  an  overture  in 
behalf  of  some  of  the  Chiefs  for  peace,  to  which  I  avoided  giving 
an  explicit  answer,  as  I  wished  first  to  visit  the  vindictive  part  of 
the  nation,  mostly  settled  at  Hiwassee  and  Chistowee,  and  to  dis- 
tress the  whole  as  much  as  possible,  by  destroying  their  habitations 
and  provisions. 

"The  2<Sth,  we  set  fire  to  Chote,  Scitigo  and  Little  Tuskeego, 
and  moved  oiir  whole  force  to  a  town  on  Telico  Eiver,  Kai-a-tee, 
where  I  intended  a  post,  for  to  secure  a  retreat  and  tO'  lay  up  pro- 
visions in.  This  evening,  Major  Martin,  on  returning  from  a  pa- 
trol, attacked  a  party  of  Indians,  killed  two,  and  drove  several  into 
the  river.  The  same  evening  in  a  skirmish  w^e  lost  Captain  James 
I]lliott,  a  gallant  young  officer,  being  the  first  and  only  man  the 

Washington  Countij,  1777-1S70.  345 

enemy  had  power  to  hurt,  on  the  Expedition.  The  Indians  lost 
three  men  on  the  occasion. 

"Tlie  ?9th,  I  set  out  for  Hiwassec,  distant  about  forty  miles,  leav- 
ing at  Kai-a-  tee,  under  Major  Christian,  a  garrison  of  one  hundred 
and  fifty  men. 

"The  80ih,  we  arrived  at  Hiwassee  and  found  the  towi\  of  the  same 
name  abandoned.  In  patrolling  the  environs  we  took  a  sensible 
young  warrior,  who  informed  us  that  a  body  of  Indians,  with 
McDonald,  the  British  agent  and  some  Tories,  were  at  Chistowee, 
twelve  miies  distant,  waiting  to  receive  us.  I  had  reason  tO'  believe 
the  cnou.y  had  viewed  us  from  the  hills  above  Hiwassee;  for  which 
reason  I  ordered  our  camp  to  be  laid  off,  fires  kindled,  and  other 
shews  made,  as  if  we  intended  to  stay  all  night.  At  dark  we  set  out 
with  about  three  hundred  men  (the  Wattage  men  refusing  to  go 
further),  crossing  tlie  river  at  an  unexpected  ford,  and  that  night 
got  near  the  town.  Early  in  the  morning  of  the  31st,  we  found  that 
the  had  lied  in  haste  the  evening  before,  leaving  behind  them 
as  they  had  done  at  the  other  towns,  almost  all  their  corn  and  other 
provision3,  togetlier  v,ith  many  of  their  utensils  for  agriculture  and 
all  their  lieavy  household  furniture,  with  part  of  their  stock  of 
horses,  cattle  and  hogs.  Tliese  towns,  I  expected,  would  have  been 
contended  for  v/ith  obstinacy,  as  most  of  the  Chickamogga  people 
had  remov(!d  hence  after  their  visitation  in  1779.  Our  troops  impatient  and  no  other  object  of  importance  being  in 
view,  it  'Aa^  resolved  to  retiu-n  homeward.  Major  Martin,  with  a 
detachment,  was  ordered  to  Sattago,  and  the  other  towns  on  the 
Telico  river.  In  his  route  he  took  four  prisoners,  from  whom  he 
learnt  that  .-evL'rnl  of  the  chiefs  had  met  a  few  days  before  in  order 
to  consult  on  means  to  propose  a  treaty  for  peace.  As  I  found  the 
enemy  n-erc  limnblod  and  to  gain  time,  I  took  the  liberty  to  send 
the  chiefs  a  message,  which  was  as  follows : 

"( 'liiefs  and  Warriors : — We  came  into  your  country  to  fight  your 
young  men.  We  have  killed  not  a  few  of  them  and  destroyed  your 
to^^'•ns.  You  know  }ou  began  the  war,  by  listening  to  the  bad  coun- 
cils of  iiie  Iving  of  England  and  the  falsehoods  told  you  by  his 
agents.  We  are  now  satisfied  with  what  is  done,  as  it  may  convince 
your  nation  that  we  can  distress  them  much  at  any  time  they  are 
so  foolish  as  to  engage  in  a  war  against  us.  If  you  desire  peace, 
as  we  understand  you  do,  we,  out  of  pity  to  your  women  and  chil- 

346  Southwest  Virginia,  17Jf6-1786. 

dren,  are  disposed  to  treat  Avith  you  on  that  subject  and  take  you 
into  our  friend.^hip  once  more.  We  therefore  send  this  by  one  of 
your  young  men,  who  is  our  prisoner,  to  tell  you  if  you  are  also 
disposed  to  make  j^eace,  for  six  of  your  head  men  to  come  to  our 
agent,  ]\h;jor  ]\Ia]-tin,  at  the  Great  Island  within  two  moons.  They 
will  have  a  safe  ]^as«port,  if  they  will  notify  us  of  their  approach 
by  a  runner  witli  a  flag,  so  as  to  give  him  time  to  meet  them  with  a 
guard  on.  IT ol stein  river,  at  the  boundary  line.  The  wives  and  chil- 
dren of  these  men  of  your  nation  that  protested  against  the  war,  if 
they  are  willing  to  lake  refuge  at  the  Great  Island  until  peace  is 
restored,  we  will  give  them  a  supply  of  provisions  to  keep  them 

'■'Warriors  lislen  ettentively. 

"If  we  receive  no  answer  to  this  message  until  the  time  alreiidy 
mentioned  expires,  we  shall  conclude  you  intend  to  continue  to  be 
our  enemies,  v.hich  will  compel  us  to  send  another  strong  force  into 
yoi^r  country  who  will  come  prepared  to  stay  a  long  time,  and  take 
posppi^sion  thereof,  as  conquered  by  us,  without  making  any  restitu- 
tion to  you  for  yonr  lands. 

"Signed  at  Kai-a-tee  the  4th  day  of  January,  one  thousand  seven 
hiindied  and  eig'lity-one,  by 

"JOHN  SEVIEE,  Lieutenant-Col. 
"JOSEPH  MAETIN,  Agent  &  Major  of  Militia." 

"The  fulfillment  of  this  message  will  require  your  Excellency's 
further  instructions,  and  in  which  I  expect  North  Carolina  will 
assist,  or  that  Congress  will  take  upon  themselves  the  whole.  I 
believe  advantageous  promises  of  peace  may  be  easily  obtained  with 
a  siiri'pnder  of  snch  an  extent  of  country,  that  will  defray  the 
expenses  of  war.  But  such  terms  will  be  best  insured  b}'  placing  a 
garrison  of  two  hundred  men  under  an  active  officer  on  the  banks 
of  the  Tenasee. 

"'('5iir  v.hole  loss  on  this  expedition  was  one  man  killed  by  the 
Indians  and  two  wounded  by  accident.  It  would  have  been  very 
pleasing  to  the  troops  to  have  met  the  whole  force  of  the  nation  at 
once  on  equal  ground,  but  so  great  was  the  panic  that  seized  them, 
after  seeing  us  in  order  over  tlie  Tenasee,  that  they  never  ven- 
turned  themselves  in  sight  of  the  army,  luit  on  rocky  clefts  and 
other  ground  inaccessible  to  our  mounted  infantry.    By  the  returns 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  347 

of  the  officers  of  the  different  detachments,  we  killed  twenty-nine 
]nen  and  took  seventeen  prisoners,  mostly  women  and  children.  The 
number  of  wounded  is  uncertain.  Besides  these,  we  brought  in  the 
family  cf  ISTancy  Ward,  whom  for  their  good  offices,  we  considered 
in  anotliei  light. 

'^'The  wliole  are  in  Major  Martin's  care  at  the  Great  Island  until 
the  sense  of  government  is  kno-wn  as  to  how  they  are  to  be  dis- 
posed of. 

''Jlie  towns  of  Chote,   Scitigo,    ,   Chilhowee,  Toque 

]\[ie]iqua,  Kai-a-tee,  Sattooga,  Telico,  Hiwassee  and  Chistowee,  all 
principal  towns,  besides  some  small  ones  and  several  scattering  set- 
tlements, in  which  were  upwards  of  a  thousand  houses  and  not  less 
than  fifty  thousand  bushels  of  corn  and  large  quantities  of  other 
kinds  of  provisions,  were  committed  to  the  flames  or  otherwise 
destroyed,  after  taking  sufficient  subsistence  for  the  army  whilst  in 
the  country  and  on  its  return.  No  place  in  the  over-hill  country 
]"enialned  unvisited,  except  the  small  town  of  Telasee,  a  scattering 
sottlejnent  in  the  neighborhood  of  Chickamogga,  and  the  town  of 
Caloogac,  sitnated  on  the  sources  of  the  Mobile.  We  found  in 
Oconostato's  baggage,  which  he  left  behind  in  his  fright,  various 
manuscripts,  copies  of  treaties,  commissions,  letters  and  other 
archives  of  the  nation,  some  of  which  shew  the  double  game  tJiat 
people  have  been  carrying  on  during  the  present  war.  There 
seemed  to  be  not  a  man  of  honor  among  the  chiefs,  except  him  of 
Kai-a-tee,  whom  I  would  willingly  have  excepted  had  it  been  in 
my  power.  Never  did  a  people  so  happily  situated  act  more  fool- 
i?]dy  in  losing  their  livings  and  their  country,  at  a  time  an  advan- 
tageous neiitrality  was  held  out  to  them,  but  such  is  the  consequence 
of  British  seductions. 

''The  enemy  in  my  absence  did  some  mischief  in  Powell's  Valley 
ard  on  the  Kentucky  path,  near  Cumberland  Gap,  besides  three 
small  children  that  they  scalped  on  Holstein,  one  of  the  perpetrators 
of  which,  we  knocked  up  on  our  return,  and  retook  a  number  of 
horses.  The  Botetourt  and  Montgomery  militia  were  too  slow  in 
their  movements  to  do  any  service.  The  Virginia  militia  that  served 
with  me  on  the  expedition,  expect  to  be  paid  in  the  same  manner 
with  those  that  served  last  year  in  Carolina. 

"What  provisions  were  needed  on  our  setting  out  were  purchased 
on  short  credit,  which  will,  I  trust,  be  punctually  paid  on  the  first 

348  Southwest  Virginia,  1746-1786. 

apj)lication.  Yo;ir  Excellency  will  please  to  excuse  the  length  of 
this  narration.  T  thought  it  my  duty  to  give  a  circumstantial  detail 
of  the  facts,  as  tlie  undei-taking  had  something  singular  in  it  and 
may  lead  to  important  consequences. 

"I  am,  sir,  your  most  Ob't  and  very  humble  Serv't  &c., 


On  the  1st  day  of  January,  1781,  the  army  of  Campbell,  Sevier 
and  Martin  divided  into  small  detachments  and  returned  to  their 
homes  by  different  I'outes,  after  having  laid  waste  all  the  country 
occupied  by  the  over-hill  Cherokees. 

In  answer  to  the  talk  sent  to  the  Indians,  a  number  of  chiefs 
met  Colonel  Martin  at  Chote,  but  nothing  was  accomplished  at 
this  time. 

Upon  the  return  of  Colonel  Arthur  Campbell  to  his  home,  he 
immediately  communicated  with  G-eneral  Greene,  the  Commander 
of  the  Southern  Department,  when  General  Greene  appointed 
Arihur  Campl)cll,  William  Preston,  William  Christian,  Joseph  Mar- 
tin, on  behalf  of  Virginia,  and  Robert  Lanier,  Evan  Shelby,  Joseph 
Williams  and  John  Sevier,  on  the  part  of  North  Carolina,  commis- 
sioners, to  negotiate  a  treaty  with  the  Cherokee  Indians,  at  the 
Long  Island  of  Ilolston  river,  on  the  24th  of  IMarch,  1781 :  on 
which  day.  Colonels  Campbell,  Martin,  Shelby  and  Sevier  met  at  the 
Long  Island  and  sent  off  one  of  the  Indian  prisoners  to  the  Indian 
nation  proposing  peace  and  fixing  the  10th  day  of  June  as  the  time; 
which  time  of  meeting  was  afterwards  postponed  until  the  20th  day 
of  July,  1781,  on  which  day  the  negotiations  were  completed.  But 
at  the  instigation  of  British  agents,  the  Indians  continued  their 
depiedations  u|)on  the  white  settlers.  On  the  13th  of  January,  1781, 
a  settler  in  PoAvell's  Valley  was  killed  and  fourteen  horses  that 
belonged  to  a  party -of  men  coming  from  Kentucky  were  carried  off. 
In  the  latter  part  of  January,  a  considerable  number  of  Indians 
attacked  Fort  Blackmore*  in  this  county,  and,  about  tlie  middle  of 
February,  three  men  were  killed  in  PowelFs  Valley  and  a  consid- 
ei'able  number  of  horses  carried  off. 

A  company  of  militia  was  organized  by  Colonel  Campbell  and 
ordered  to  patrol  Powell's  Valley,  under  the  command  of  Colonel 
J()seph  Martin  and  Major  Aaron  Lewis.     As  this  company  of  troops 

*Now  Scott  county. 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  349 

proceeded  on  their  outward  trip,  they  discovered  a  large  body  of 
Jiidians  in  Powell's  Valley.  The  Indians  discovering  the  presence 
of  Major  Lewis,  made  their  escape,  but  several  traces  of  smaller 
parties,  all  making  towards  the  mouth  of  Powell's  river,  were  dis- 
covered, and  the  one  that  appeared  the  freshest  was  followed  by 
Colonel  Martin  and  his  men,  for  about  thirty  miles  below  Cum- 
berland Gap,  where  the  Indians  were  surprised  and  surrounded, 
but  the  cane  was  so  thick  they  could  not  easily  be  detected  or  pur- 
si;ed  on  liorseback.  Thirty  guns  at  least  were  fired  upon  them,  and, 
while  it  was  thought  that  some  of  them  were  Avounded,  there 
were  none  killed  or  left  upon  the  ground.  Martin's  militia  captured 
a  number  of  shot  pouches  and  blankets,  upon  one  of  which  was 
found  the  name,  John  Brown,  written  in  full,  the  said  John  Brown 
having  been  previously  killed  in  Cumberland  Gap.  Colonel  Mar- 
tin and  his  men  pursued  the  Indians  for  about  seventy  miles.  In 
tiie  latter  part  of  March,  a  party  of  northward  Indians  came  up 
on  the  Sandy  river  and  penetrated  as  far  as  tlie  settlement  on  Hols- 
tou,  where  they  carried  off  a  son  of  Captain  Bledsoe's,  and  the 
f]-oj]tiers  were  invaded  at  numerous  other  points  by  the  Indians. 
Tlie  settlements  were  threatened  by  an  invasion  from  the  united 
forces  of  the  Cherokee  and  Creek  Indians,  assisted  by  the  British 
agents  and  Tories. 

Colonel  Arthur  Campbell  recommended  to  the  Governor  of  Vir- 
ginia the  building  of  a  fort  at  the  junction  of  the  Tennessee  and 
Ilf'lston  rivers,  and  was  actively  engaged  in  building  the  fort  at 
Cumberland  Cap  as  previously  ordered  by  the  Governor. 

The  Continental  Congress  and  the  officers  of  the  Continental  army 
having  ascertained  the  value  of  the  mountain  militia,  a  pressing 
application  from  General  Greene  for  men  was  received  by  Colonel 
Arthur  Campbell,  the  county  lieutenant  of  this  county.  Colonel 
Campbell  immediately  ordered  out  the  militia  of  this  county,  not- 
withstanding their  circumstances  were  ill-suited  to  such  an  expedi- 
tion, as  matters  with  the  Cherokees  were  still  unsettled  and  the 
Indians  from  the  northward  were  constantly  invading  the  settle- 
ments. On  the  25th  day  of  February,  1781,  one  hundred  men  under 
Colc.nel  William  Campbell  set  out  to  join  the  militia  of  Botetourt 
and  Montgomery  coiinties,  on  their  march  to  General  Greene's  army. 
Colonel  Arthur  Campl)ell,  in  a  letter  to  the  Governor  on  the  28th 
day  of  this  month,  said :     "A  large  number  would  have  gone,  were 

350  Southwest  Virginia,  17JfG-17S6. 

it  not  for  the  daily  appro! lonsion  of  attacks  from  the  northward 
and  southern  Indians." 

Colonel  William  Campbell  and  his  men  marched  to  a  point  at  or 
near  the  Lead  i\Iines,  where  they  were  joined  by  the  Montgomery 

In  the  month  of  March,  1781,  Colonel  Arthur  Campbell,  county- 
lieutenant  of  Washington  county,  made  a  return  of  the  militia  of 
this  county,  from  Mdiich  it  appears  that  there  were,  at  this  time,  in 
this  county,  2  battalions,  6  field  officers,  55  commissioned  officers, 
4^  non-commissioned  officers,  953  rank  and  file.  In  addition,  there 
were  about  one  hundred  men  residing  between  Walker's  and  Plender- 
scn's  lines,  who  did  duty  at  times  as  their  inclination  led  them." 

Colonel  Canipl)ell,  with  his  com.pany  of  one  hundred  men  pro- 
ceeded from  Abingdon  by  the  Lead  Mines  and  on  into  North 
Carolina,  where,  on  March  2d,  he  joined  General  Greene  with  four 
hundred  volunteers.  Colonel  Campbell  was  now  to  oppose  Lord 
Cornwallis,  who  had  imbibed  a  personal  resentment  towards  him 
as  the  commander  at  King's  mountain,  and  wlw  had  threatened  that, 
should  Colonel  Campbell  fall  into  his  hands,  he  would  have  him 
instantly  put  tO'  death,  for  his  rigor  against  the  Tories,  evidently 
d(\:igning  to  hold  him  personally  responsible  for  the  execution  of  the 
Toi}  leaders  at  BickerstafP.  This,  instead  of  intimidating  Colonel 
Cnmpbell,  had  the  contrary  effect,  and  Campbell,  in  turn,  resolved 
tliat.  if  the  fortunes  of  war  should  place  CornAvallis  in  his  power,  he 
should  meet  the  fate  of  Ferguson.  It  was  not  long  until  Campbell 
and  his  men  were  called  into  action. 

The  Virginia  militia,  other  than  Colonels  Preston's  and  Camp- 
bell's commands,  w^hile  on  the  march  to  join  General  Greene,  were 
threatened  with  an  attack  from  Colonel  Tarleton's  cavalry,  with 
foui  hundred  infantry  and  two  pieces  of  artillery  sent  out  by  Cotu- 
wallis  to  intercept  them.  General  Greene  had  dispatched  Colonel 
Otho  Williams  to  protect  the  advancing  reinforcements  from  his 
camp  at  Speedwell's  Iron  Works,  on  the  upper  waters  of  Trouble- 
some creek.  The  Virginia  militia  were  marching  on  a  highway, 
rimning  west  from  a  point  below  Hillsborough,  to  General  Greene's 
headquarters.  Cornwallis  was  in  camp  on  the  Alamance  creek,  about 
thirty  miles  west  from  Hillsborough.  The  command  of  Colonel  Wil- 
liams was  between  the  camp  of  Cornwallis  and  the  advancing  mili- 
tia.   The  roads  leading  from  Cornwallis's  camp  and  Williams's  camp 

Washington  County,  1777-1870.  351 

to  the  position  occupied  by  the  militia,  intersected  each  other  at 
Whitsill's  Mill,  which  was  the  nearest  point  at  which  Cornwallis 
could  attack  the  advancing  militia. 

It  was  the  design  of  Cornwallis  to  attack  and  scatter  this  militia 
force  and  to  destroy  the  three  thousand  arms  they  were  bringing 
to  General  Greene's  camp. 

General  Greene  moved  his  camp  to  Boyd's  Mill,  within  fifteen 
miles  of  Cornwallis,  and  Colonels  Williams  and  Pickens  were  on  the 
fiank  of  the  enemy.  General  Greene  anxiously  awaited  results  at 
his  camp,  seven  miles  above  Whitsill's  Mill.  Thus  matters  stood  on 
the  fith  of  March,  when  Cornwallis  made  a  sudden  dash  north, 
expecting  to  reach  Whitsill's  Mill  in  advance  of  Williams,  and, 
passing  north  ten  miles  further,  to  intercept  the  militia  reinforce- 
ments at  High  Eock  Ford  on  Haw  river,  but  Cornwallis  had  hardly 
left  his  camp  before  Colonel  Williams  received  the  news,  and  the 
]'ace  for  Whitsill's  Mill  began.  They  were  traveling  on  parallel 
roads,  Williams  with  his  light  troops  flying  to  the  rescue  oi  his 
friends,  Cornwallis  with  his  heavy  wagon  train,  dashing  through 
ever}  olistruction  with  reckless  speed,  hoping  to  intercept  and 
desti'oy  General  Greene's  reinforcements.  "As  the  patrols  and 
scouts  passed  from  one  column  to  the  other,  apprising  each  of  the 
advance  of  his  competitor,  the  race  grew  more  animated,  the  com- 
petitors more  earnest  and  resolute.  The  goal  was  now  getting  nearer 
and  the  excitement  greater,  when  Williams,  putting  forth  his  whole 
energy,  urged  his  men  to  a  triumphant  speed  and  dashed  down  the 
hill  and  across  the  Eeedy  Fork,  as  the  enemy  appeared  upon  the 
crest  in  their  rear,  entering  from  the  other  road."* 

Colonel  Williams  drew  up  his  forces  on  the  north  bank  of  the 
stream,  where  he  attacked  the  British  and  checked  them  in  their 
onward  march. 

Colonel  Williams'  command  was  composed  of  some  ISTorth  Caro- 
lina troops  and  the  Virginia  militia  under  the  command  of  Colonels 
Campbell  and  7h"eston,  who,  as  previously  stated,  had  joined  General 
Greene  on  March  2d,  and  the  cavalry  corps  of  Washington  and  Lee. 
The  position  occupied  by  Colonel  Williams'  forces  was  in  front  of 
the  ford  and  some  two  hundred  yavds  below  the  mill. 

As  the  British  forces  approached,  their  riflemen  formed  the  front 
rank'  and  fired  at  a  distance,  continuing  to  advance  toward  the  creek 

*Schenck's  North  Carolina,  1780-1781. 

352  Sovihwest  Virginia,  17.k6-n86. 

uiiiil  tlicv  wrie  within  eighty  yards  of  the  American  line,  wlicn 
('niii|ilM'll"s  and  Preston's  riflemen  tired  upon  them  with  deadly 
efiecl.  One  of  the  British  officers,  when  shot,  bounding  up  several 
feet  fell  dead.  The  enemy  continued  to  advance,  and  when  within 
forty-five  yards  of  the  American  line,  they  were  again  fired  upon 
jiy  the  riflemen.  The  enemy  used  their  small  arms  and  field  pieces, 
l)ut,  in  every  instance,  tlieir  firing  was  too  high,  and  took  effect  only 
among  the  limbs  of  the  trees. 

The  enemy's  forces  were  on  flic  hill,  and  their  view  was  greatly 
■obstructed  by  the  smoke  from  the  discharge  of  the  guns  of  the 
Americans,  who  were  below  them.  One  of  the  principal  objects 
^^'hicb  Colonel  Williams  had  in  view  was  the  protection  of  Whit- 
siH's  l\[i]l  for  a  time  sufficient  to  enable  the  provision  wagons 
belonging  to  General  Greene's  army  to  load  with  provisioii,  which 
Mas  effected,  and  to  prevent  Cornwallis  from  surprising  the  rein- 
forcements on  their  way  to  General  Greene.  The  Americans,  ^^n\- 
ing  accomplished  their  object,  retired  over  the  ford,  which  was  about 
fjircc  feet  deep,  with  a  rapid  current,  a  slippery,  rocky  bottom  and 
a  precipitous  brushy  bank  on  the  northern  side. 

While  crossing  the  ford.  Major  Joseph  Cloyd  observed  G!)l'>ncl 
William  Preston,  his  commaiider,  on  foot,  Preston  having  lost  his 
horse  in  the  skirmish,  whereupon  Cloyd  dismounted  and  assisted 
Colonel  Preston  into  his  saddle,  when  both  escaped. 

The  principal  part  of  the  fighting  in  this  skirmish  was  done  by 
Campbell's  and  Preston's  riflemen  and